After weeks of speculation, Microsoft has officially announced the executive vice-president of its cloud and enterprise group Satya Nadella is taking over as CEO from Steve Balmer.
In its announcement, Microsoft said Nadella will take up the CEO role and become a member of the board of directors immediately.
Microsoft’s co-founder, Bill Gates, has praised the 46-year-old for his work within the company and sees him as the best choice to lead Microsoft into the future. “During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said 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.”
Leading figure in the company
Nadella has spent 22 years at Microsoft, having joined the company in 1992. He has led a number of some of Microsoft’s biggest technical achievements, most notably the company’s move to the cloud, and the development of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world supporting Bing, Xbox and Microsoft Office, among other services.
Nadella himself in an email to staff has said he hopes to see a much more rapid deployment of services into the market. “While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more. Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation. This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft. Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places — as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world.”
This will be the company’s third CEO appointment in its 39-year history, following Ballmer’s decision to step down from the role.