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Photograph by Peter Bohler for Fortune. All others: Courtesy of ValueAct Capital
  • Age
    39
  • Title
    President
  • Company
    ValueAct Capital

He might be the most powerful activist shareholder you haven’t heard of. Early last year, Morfit was a largely unknown stock picker, working at a largely unknown hedge fund. Then in April 2013, he produced a detailed report, delivered by his boss ValueAct CEO Jeff Ubben at an investment conference, on how to fix a lumbering Microsoft. The report won ValueAct and Morfit respect among some of Microsoft’s largest shareholders. Behind the scenes, Morfit rallied support for a change at the top—and within a few months, CEO Steve Ballmer was out and Satya Nadella was in. Earlier this year, Microsoft added Morfit to its board, making him the company’s youngest director by nearly a decade. Morfit’s tip for getting managers much more experienced than he to listen is to prove he’s done his homework. “Please don’t say I dazzle people with data,” says Morfit. “It’s everything I am not. I’m not flashy.”

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