Microsoft has named Satya Nadella, an executive in charge of the company’s small, but growing business of delivering software and services over the Internet its new CEO. Company founder Bill Gates is also leaving the chairman role for a new role as technology advisor. Mr Nadella, 46, from Hyderabad, India, will be only the third chief executive of Microsoft, an icon of American business that has struggled for position in big growth markets like mobile and internet search.
Nadella has been a Microsoft employee for over 20 years and has worked as a VP in the company’s business and online services divisions.It’s not a big surprise Microsoft’s board picked Nadella. Last week, several reports began trickling out that Microsoft had chosen him. The company’s board reportedly made its final vote over the weekend, only taking a break to watch the Seattle Seahawks win the Super Bowl.
“The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must move faster, push harder and continue to transform,” Nadella said.
Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and former chairman of the board of directors, will assume a new role as technology advisor, and devote more time to the direction of the company’s products and technology.
“During this time of transformation and remarkable opportunity for Microsoft, there is no better person to lead the company than Satya,” Gates said.
The return of Bill Gates raises questions as to how free a hand Mr. Nadella will have in setting his own strategy as the company responds to an array of business challenges. Mr. Gates, while known for his technical expertise, is also linked to past Microsoft product stumbles and has little track record in areas such as smartphones, which are critical to the company’s future. John Thompson, 64, a member of the Microsoft board who oversaw its search for a new chief executive, will become the company’s chairman, replacing Mr Gates.