Microsoft names head of investor ValueAct to board

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Associated Press

Posted on March 12, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 12 at 1:00 PM

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft Corp. has appointed Mason Morfit, the president of activist investment firm ValueAct Capital, to its board of directors.

Morfit has pushed for Microsoft to focus on its enterprise software products and cloud computing business rather than its flagship Windows computer operating system, which is being hurt by the declining sale of PCs.

The appointment, announced late Tuesday, had been expected. Microsoft entered into a cooperation agreement with ValueAct in August following the firm's purchase last year of some 66.9 million shares, or about 0.8 percent of the total outstanding. That stock is currently worth about $2.55 billion.

Microsoft's board now has 11 members, including former CEO Steve Ballmer, founder Bill Gates and new CEO Satya Nadella.

Morfit's financial background, experience as a public company director and his perspective as a shareholder give him "valuable insights," said Microsoft Chairman John Thompson in a statement Tuesday.

Microsoft shares rose 24 cents to $38.26 in late afternoon trading Wednesday.

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