As expected by many industry experts, Microsoft has formally announced that Satya Nadella will be its next CEO to replace Steve Ballmer, betting on a longtime engineering executive to help the company keep better pace with changes in technology.
India-born Nadella, 46, is the former head of the company’s cloud computing division and enterprise business. He was appointed after a team of headhunters ended a five-month search that included some of the world’s most famous executives.
Nadella will be the third person to lead Microsoft. Since the company was founded 39 years ago, only co-founder Bill Gates and Ballmer have headed it.
Gates Step Down
The selection of Nadella as new CEO, which the company said was the ‘safe choice’, was accompanied by news that Bill Gates, co-founder of the tech firm, would step down from his role as chairman and become a technology adviser to Nadella.
John Thompson, the Microsoft board member who oversaw its search for a new chief executive, becomes chairman. “During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than SatyaNadella,” Gates said.
“Satya is a proven leader with hardcore engineering skills, business vision, and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth,” Gates said in his statement.