Microsoft appoints Nadella CEO

Microsoft appoints Nadella CEO

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Microsoft has announced the appointment of Satya Nadella as its new chief executive officer effective immediately, ending a long recruitment process.

HumanIPO reported last week on reports Microsoft was set to appoint Nadella previously held the position of executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group.

“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and board member. “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.”

India-born Nadella has been at Microsoft for 22 years and took over the running of its cloud computing initiatives in July last year. He has also held roles in the Office and Bing teams, and ran the server and tools unit from 2011.

“Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionized the world through technology, and I couldn’t be more honored 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.”

“Having worked with him for more than 20 years, I know that Satya is the right leader at the right time for Microsoft,” said outgoing CEO 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.”

The process of appointing Ballmer’s successor has been a long one, with HumanIPO reporting last month Microsoft was considering Ericsson chief executive officer (CEO) Hans Vestberg as a candidate.

December saw Qualcomm chief operating officer (COO) Steve Mollenkopf named as a favourite for the position, but this was quickly followed by the announcement he had been appointed to the top job at the chipmaker.

The beginning of January saw another highly linked candidate withdraw his candidature, with Ford CEO Alan Mulally pulling out of the race for the top position, though it is unclear whether this was his decision or Microsoft’s.

Microsoft has also announced Gates will assume a new role on the board as founder and technology advisor, with John Thompson, lead independent director for the Board of Directors, assuming the role of chairman of the Board of Directors.

“Satya is clearly the best person to lead Microsoft, and he has the unanimous support of our Board,” Thompson said. “The Board took the thoughtful approach that our shareholders, customers, partners and employees expected and deserved.”

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