The software maker first hit that level just after 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 22, but dipped below that mark again before ending Thursday’s trading session at $266.69 per share. The milestone follows the company’s unveiling of Windows 11, its first new version of the flagship operating system in more than five years, on Thursday morning.
(Microsoft’s value has doubled in two years’ time), bolstered by demand for products such as the Teams chat app that kept organizations functioning during the coronavirus pandemic.
The appreciation of the company’s stock price reflects a rejuvenated company, one that has looked beyond its dominant Windows operating system and found growth in cloud computing and acquisitions.
Microsoft stock has grown more than 600% since Satya Nadella replaced Steve Ballmer as the company’s CEO in 2014. (During Ballmer’s 14-year tenure as CEO, the company’s stock fell 32%.) One of Nadella’s first moves was to reveal that Office applications like Word and Excel were coming to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, rather than restricting those apps to smartphones that ran Windows. A year later, when Windows 10 came out, it was a free update, unlike Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Nadella had run the division that includes Microsoft’s Azure public cloud immediately before taking the CEO job, and it shows. In his years as CEO he has made public appearances to talk about uses of Azure at prominent customers such as the National Basketball Association, Volkswagen and Walgreens. Azure is on track to become Microsoft’s largest business.
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