Satya Nadella confirmed as Microsoft CEO
Head of cloud takes the helm at Microsoft, Bill Gates to play expanded supporting role
Microsoft has formally announced that its cloud chief, Satya Nadella, has been appointed as the new CEO.
Nadella, who was most recently Microsoft's head of Cloud and Enterprise, will take on the role from Steve Ballmer, who announced his intention to resign in August last year.
Nadella, a 22-year Microsoft veteran, becomes only the third CEO in the history of the company. The Hyderabad-native, who has also held technology roles for Sun Microsystems, spearheaded major strategy and technical shifts across Microsoft's portfolio of products and services, most notably the company's move to the cloud, and also led the Servers and Tools Business to outperform the market.
Microsoft also announced that Bill Gates, previously Chairman of the Board of Directors, will assume a new role on the Board as Founder and Technology Advisor, and will devote more time to the company, supporting Nadella in shaping technology and product direction.
Since Ballmer's announcement in August 2013 that he would step down within a year, Microsoft's board is believed to have considered a number of external candidates for the role, including Ford Motor Co CEO Alan Mulally; Qualcomm's chief financial officer Steve Mollenkopf, and Ericsson's Hans Vestberg also dropped out of consideration.
"During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella," said Bill Gates, Microsoft's Founder and Member of the Board of Directors. "Satya is a proven leader with hard-core 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."
"Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionized the world through technology, and I couldn't be more honoured to have been chosen to lead the company," Nadella said. "The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform. A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly."
John Thompson, lead independent director for the Board of Directors, will assume the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors and remain an independent director on the Board.
"Having worked with him for more than 20 years, I know that Satya is the right leader at the right time for Microsoft," said Steve Ballmer. "I've had the distinct privilege of working with the most talented employees and senior leadership team in the industry, and I know their passion and hunger for greatness will only grow stronger under Satya's leadership."