Technology giant and man’s best friend, Microsoft, has today announced that Satya Nadella will be its next chief executive.
Indian-born Satya Nadella is currently Microsoft’s head of Cloud and Enterprise, and has been working at Microsoft since 1992. Nadella will take over from the loyal Steve Ballmer, who announced plans to step down in 2013.
Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates said there was “no better person to lead Microsoft” of Nadella.
Mr Gates is stepping down as chairman, an announcement which had been expected, but will take up a new role as ‘technology adviser’. This means that he will also retain a seat on Microsoft’s board, leaving space for Microsoft’s lead independent director John Thompson to take over as chairman.
Mr Nadella has been discussing his pride in leading Microsoft into the future: “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”.
“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.”
Mr Nadella, 46, is Microsoft’s third chief executive. The Hyderabad-born executive joined the company in 1992 and has degrees in electronics, computer science and business administration. He led its server and tools business in the past before being put in charge of the unit that built Microsoft’s Cloud OS service, which powers products such as Bing, Skype and Xbox Live.
Bill Gates went on to comment on the importance of Satya Nadella’s leadership.
“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella” Said Mr. Gates
“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.”
The appointment ends months of speculation over who would succeed Mr Ballmer, who announced his intention to stand down in August last year. Earlier in the process, incoming chairman John Thompson said “more than 100 possible candidates had been identified”.
Amongst the people named was boss of car giant Ford, Alan Mulally, and Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop.
Investors have been calling for new leadership at the Microsoft for a while – especially since the Apple boom – saying it needs a significant shakeup in order to become more innovative and profitable.
Some critics have questioned whether Mr Nadella is the right man for the job. He has no experience of running a company, let alone one as big as Microsoft.
Microsoft shares rose after the announcement had been made and they were up 0.7% after an hour of trading.