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Microsoft gives more oversight to board

The software maker aims to boost independence and accountability of the board by restructuring the set-up.

Microsoft said on Tuesday it has made several changes to its Board of Directors, aiming to boost the board's independence and accountability. The moves include the creation of the post of lead independent director on the board as well as changes to the structure of the board's committees. Merck CEO Raymond Gilmartin will call and chair meetings of nonmanagement directors and conduct an annual review of the chief executive officer in his role of lead independent director, which comes from his chairmanship of Microsoft's Governance and Nominating Committee.

"We consider these changes to our corporate governance policies to be both good citizenship and good business," John Seethoff, the software company's deputy general counsel, said in a statement. Microsoft's board has eight outside directors who work with Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer.