Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) controls multiple aspects of mitosis and is activated through its phosphorylation at Thr210. Here we identify Ser99 on Plk1 as a novel mitosis-specific phosphorylation site, which operates independently of Plk1-Thr210 phosphorylation. Plk1-Ser99 phosphorylation creates a docking site for 14-3-3γ, and this interaction stimulates the catalytic activity of Plk1. Knockdown of 14-3-3γ or replacement of wild-type (WT) Plk1 by a Ser99-phospho-blocking mutant leads to a prometaphase/metaphase-like arrest due to the activation of the spindle assembly checkpoint. Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and Akt significantly reduces the level of Plk1-Ser99 phosphorylation and delays metaphase to anaphase transition. Plk1-Ser99 phosphorylation requires not only Akt activity but also protein(s) associated with Plk1 in a mitosis-specific manner. Therefore, mitotic Plk1 activity is regulated not only by Plk1-Thr210 phosphorylation, but also by Plk1 binding to 14-3-3γ following Plk1-Ser99 phosphorylation downstream of the PI3K-Akt signalling pathway. This novel Plk1 activation pathway controls proper progression from metaphase to anaphase.