Microsoft Corp has given longtime executive Brad Smith the title of president, as the company continues its transition to a new generation of leadership.
Smith’s full title will be president and chief legal officer. He has been Microsoft’s general counsel since 2002 and became an executive vice president in 2011.
CEO Satya Nadella announced the appointment in an e-mail on Friday to employees.
Nadella said he wants Smith to play a bigger role in strengthening Microsoft’s relationships and representing the company publicly. Smith will help lead the company on issues like privacy, security and accessibility, he said.
Smith, 56, joined Microsoft in 1993 and has held several other titles, including company secretary.
Smith is a familiar face for investors because he has been a regular presence on the company’s investor conference calls for almost a decade.
“It is interesting that they would put him as president of the company because he doesn’t come from the operational side,” Piper Jaffray industry analyst Katherine Egbert said. “I think it’s a promotion of someone who’s been a solid executive for them for a long time.”
Microsoft’s stock climbed steadily after Nadella became CEO in February last year, but in the last few months, the shares have struggled because the PC industry is in a slump. In July the Redmond, Washington-based company reported another decline in profit and revenue from its Windows software for PCs.
Shares of Microsoft rose US$0.19 to US$43.48 on Friday. The stock is down 7.5 percent over the last year.
Separately, Yahoo Inc’s chief marketing officer and head of media is leaving the company to join movie and TV studio STX Entertainment, another employee exit amid a turnaround effort by chief executive officer Marissa Mayer.
Yahoo shares climbed 0.9 percent on Friday.
STX on Friday said that Kathy Savitt will become the president of its digital business next month. Savitt started at Yahoo in September 2012. Before that, she worked for Amazon.com Inc and founded the online commerce service Lockerz.
Yahoo is still trying to turn its business around and reverse a slide in its revenue. The company wants to spin off its most prized asset, a stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴), but it is not clear if Yahoo will be able to make that move without paying a hefty tax bill.
Film producer Robert Simonds and TPG Capital executive Bill McGlashan founded STX last year.
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