Nasdaq turned 50 on February 8, 2021. How have the markets and the company changed over the past five decades?

How has the global market exchange remained relevant to its stakeholders after 50 years? By embracing changes in technology, society, and the economy and by meeting customers’ needs with innovation.

From disrupter to incumbent and back—that’s been the 50-year journey of the Nasdaq (also known by its more formal name, the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation system). It was the first electronic market exchange when it launched in February 1971; it later established itself as the listing home of technology lions such as Apple and Microsoft; and now, Nasdaq itself is a provider of market technologies, such as data and analytics services, for other exchanges worldwide.

In an interview with McKinsey’s Vijay D’Silva and Roberta Fusaro, Nasdaq president and CEO Adena Friedman explains where the company has been in its first five decades and where it’s going—specifically, how it’s pursuing growth and innovation, how it manages its role as both user and provider of data, and how it’s thinking about environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, all while remaining relevant to investors worldwide.