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Microsoft board adds GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley, fifth woman

Microsoft board adds GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley, fifth woman

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Emma Walmsley, chief executive officer of Glaxosmithkline Plc.

Luke MacGregor | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Microsoft said on Thursday that it’s nominating Emma Walmsley, the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, to its board of directors, adding a fifth woman to its board.

Charles Noski, the former vice-chairman of AT&T, and Helmut Panke, former chairman of BMW, are not seeking reelection to Microsoft’s board, the company said in a statement. That means the company’s board will have 13 members, including five women.

While it’s still not at a 50-50 split, Microsoft is moving in that direction. Four years ago, just two of its 10 directors were women, and both have subsequently left the board. Like at most big tech companies, and across much of corporate America, women are underrepresented among Microsoft’s top ranks. But on the board, the numbers have improved since 2014, when CEO Satya Nadella made public comments suggesting women should not ask for a pay raise but have “faith in the system.” He soon apologized.

“Emma is an accomplished business leader who led major advances in research and development at GSK and will bring her significant insights and global experience to Microsoft,” John Thompson, Microsoft’s independent board chair, said in the statement on Thursday. “We believe she will be a valuable addition to the board.”

The other women on Microsoft’s board are Teri List-Stoll, Gap finance chief; Sandra Peterson, operating partner at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice; Penny Pritzker, founder of PSP Partners; and Padmasree Warrior, CEO of Fable Group and a former top executive at Cisco and Motorola.

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