Microsoft has announced that enterprise group leader Satya Nadella will become its latest chief executive, after a six-month hunt for a new chief of the company to replace outgoing head Steve Ballmer.
Microsoft also announced that founder Bill Gates will leave his role as chairman of the Board of Directors and will take on a new role as 'technology advisor' to assist Nadella on "technology and product direction".
Nadella has been executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group and was touted as one of the favourite for the role with widespread rumours late last week tipping Nadella for the job.
Announcing the appointment, Microsoft chairman and founder Bill Gates said that Nadella had all the necessary skills and attributes to lead the company forward.
“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” he said.
“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.”
Nadella himself said that he was confident he had the necessary skills to lead Microsoft forward, following in the footsteps of Ballmer and company founder Gates.
“Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionised 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.”
Ballmer said Nadella has a raft of key skills that make him the ideal candidate for the job.
“Satya is a proven leader. He’s got strong technical skills and great business insights. He has a remarkable ability to see what's going on in the market, to sense opportunity, and to really understand how we come together at Microsoft to execute against those opportunities in a collaborative way,” he said.
“I have worked closely with Satya for many years and I have seen these skills many times. He is not alone, though. Our senior leadership team has never been stronger, and together this group will drive us forward.”
Nadella heads up the Cloud OS platform team at Microsoft that is used to power all of Microsoft’s internet cloud services such as Office 365, Bing, SkyDrive - now renamed OneDrive - Xbox Live, Skype and Dynamics.
The new chief executive joined Microsoft in 1992 from Sun Microsystems. He was born in Hyderabad, India, and earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University. This was followed by a master's degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.
To accompany the announcement Microsoft released a video interview with Nadella in which he discussed his focus for the years ahead.
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