Microsoft just made a huge investment to bolster its healthcare tech.

  • Microsoft's board elected CEO Satya Nadella to be the company's chair on Wednesday.
  • The last person to hold both positions at the same time was Bill Gates in 2000.
  • Nadella has recently tried to distance himself from Gates' leadership style.
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Microsoft's board elected Satya Nadella, the company's current CEO, to be its new chair on Wednesday.

This is the first time in more than 20 years that the roles of CEO and chair have been held by the same person.

The last person to hold both simultaneously was Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, before he stepped down as CEO in 2000.

Gates stepped down as chair in 2014, and left Microsoft's board entirely in 2020 to focus on his "philanthropic priorities."

Read more: A former Microsoft board member says she took the blame and was asked to resign after CEO Satya Nadella said women should rely on 'karma' to get a raise

Nadella took over as Microsoft CEO in February 2014, having previously led its cloud division.

He sought to distance his leadership style from Gates' in May this year, after the Wall Street Journal reported that the board opened a 2019 investigation into a relationship between Gates and a former staffer, and several former Microsoft employees told the New York Times that Gates had made them feel uncomfortable at work.

"The Microsoft of 2021 is very different from the Microsoft of 2000 to me and to everyone at Microsoft," Nadella told CNBC following the two reports.

"I feel that we have created an environment that allows us to really drive the everyday improvement in our diversity and inclusion culture, which I think is a super important thing and that's what I'm focused on," he added.

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