Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is joining the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center‘s board of trustees, choosing the Seattle-based nonprofit institute as his only outside board commitment since becoming the tech giant’s top executive more than two years ago.
Nadella is one of five incoming board members announced by Fred Hutch on Monday, boosting the institute’s technology and cloud computing chops along with new board member Mike Clayville, an Amazon Web Services vice president.
“It is very helpful to the Hutch’s leadership in innovation to have board members like Satya and Mike who deeply understand what is possible in applying computer and data science through cloud computing to finding cures,” said Fred Hutch board member Matt McIlwain, Madrona Venture Group managing director, in an email response to GeekWire about the appointments.
Nadella is “very talented at listening to customers and markets and finding ways to achieve scale and success in emerging areas of opportunity,” added McIlwain, who was named vice chair of the Hutch board today. “He is also passionate about creating a culture and structure that support an organization’s objectives. He has already begun to have impact in these areas to support the Hutch.”
The Microsoft CEO told the Fred Hutch News Service that he wanted to serve on the board of an organization “doing world-class work with world-class ambition in an area that is life changing and world changing.” He also wanted to be able to learn from and contribute to the organization, and he wanted it to be based in the Seattle region.
“When I look at those three criteria, unanimously people would say, ‘Fred Hutch,’” he said, according to the article.
Other new board members are Bryan White, founder of Sahsen Ventures LLC; Carl Behnke, president of REB Enterprises; and Mark Fleischauer, chairman of JH Kelly Holdings. In addition, Fred Hutch appointed Christine Gregoire as its new board chair, elevating the former Washington state governor from her previous position of vice chair. She replaces Paula Reynolds, the former Safeco CEO, as Fred Hutch board chair.
A year ago, the institute boosted its technology capabilities by bringing in IT veteran Matthew Trunnell, formerly of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, as its chief information officer.
Based in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, Fred Hutch is home to the nation’s largest cancer prevention research center, with internationally recognized teams of scientists seeking new ways to fight cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
Updated at 5:30 a.m. with additional details.