Microsoft has announced that Scott Guthrie, vice president for Windows Azure, is to take Satya Nadella's place heading up the firm's Cloud and Enterprise Group, at least for the short term.
The move was announced during a Q&A session with Satya Nadella on the day it was disclosed that he had been selected as Microsoft's new chief executive, to replace the outgoing Steve Ballmer.
Microsoft said Guthrie is to serve as acting lead of the group until a permanent leader is named at some point in the future.
However, as Guthrie was effectively second in command to Nadella in the Cloud and Enterprise business, it seems likely that the move will eventually become permanent.
Guthrie is a Microsoft veteran, running the development teams behind ASP.NET, Silverlight and the Visual Studio Tools for Web Development and Windows Phone 7, among others. In 2011, he was promoted to head up Windows Azure Application Platform Team at Microsoft and help to drive the firm's cloud computing platform.
Speaking to V3 at an event last year about the expansion of Microsoft's Azure services in Europe, Guthrie talked up the firm's cloud platform, saying that it offered capabilities that put it ahead of rival services in the field.
"What makes the Microsoft Cloud and Azure unique is the global scale that we have. We now have more regions available than any other cloud provider out there, including Amazon or Google," he said.
Guthrie was named as a potential candidate for the CEO role at Microsoft by some sources, but this was something that the man himself downplayed.
"I think it's safe to say I'm definitely not on the shortlist for that," he told V3. "It's a very important job and a very difficult job, and I look forward to someone else doing it. I think my current job is a lot more fun."
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