(Adds Stanton's age, details on job losses)
SEATTLE, July 30 Microsoft Corp named
wireless industry pioneer John Stanton to its board on
Wednesday, adding a director with experience in the mobile
sector it has struggled to crack.
The move to appoint Stanton, 58, 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's handset business, which thrust Microsoft
directly into the phone market, but has yet to deliver results
with only about 4 percent of smartphones globally running
Two weeks ago, Nadella announced 18,000 job cuts at
Microsoft, with most coming from the phone business it acquired
"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. Gates stepped down as chairman
earlier this year to be replaced by lead independent director
John Thompson. In March, the company's board added 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)