SEATTLE, July 30 Microsoft Corp added
wireless industry pioneer John Stanton to its board on
Wednesday, bolstering experience in the mobile sector it has
struggled to crack.
The move to appoint Stanton, who until last year was the
chairman of wireless broadband company Clearwire Corp, comes six
months into the leadership of new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella,
whose motto for the company is "mobile-first, cloud-first",
veering away from its historical strength in PC software.
Investors have applauded Nadella's forward-looking stance,
but still have concerns about the $7.2 billion purchase this
year of Nokia, which thrust Microsoft directly into the phone
market, but has yet to deliver results with only about 4 percent
of smartphones globally running Windows software.
"John's insights into mobility around the globe and his
expertise in working with organizations as CEO and as a board
member will be invaluable as we transform Microsoft for growth
and leadership in the mobile-first, cloud-first world," said
Nadella in a statement.
In the 1980s, Stanton was a senior executive at McCaw
Cellular, which led the way in the nascent wireless industry,
later becoming part of AT&T. Between 1995 and 2003, he led
VoiceStream Wireless, which was bought by Deutsche Telekom
and later renamed T-Mobile USA. He went on to become
a director and then chairman at Clearwire from 2008 to 2013.
Microsoft now has 11 board members, including former CEOs
Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates. Earlier this year the company's
board saw the addition of Mason Morfit, a president of activist
investor ValueAct Capital, which has been skeptical of
Microsoft's forays into the hardware market.
(Reporting by Bill Rigby; editing by Gunna Dickson)