“Honoured and humbled” former head of cloud operations confirmed as Microsoft’s third CEO
Microsoft has confirmed Satya Nadella as the company’s new CEO.
As had been heavily rumoured, Nadella, formerly head of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group, takes over from Steve Ballmer to become the company’s third-ever leader, with the move effective immediately.
‘Incredible honour’ for Nadella
In a statement released today, Microsoft welcomed its new leader, who has worked at the company for 22 years since joining from Sun Microsystems in 1992. Born in Hyderabad, India, the site of Microsoft’s largest overseas research centre, Nadella described his appointment as “an incredible honour” in a letter to employees.
“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,” 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.”
Nadella previously worked in Microsoft’s cloud services, server software, and internet search divisions, and was credited with migrating Microsoft’s database, Windows server and developer tools to its Azure cloud service. He holds a Master of Science degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Chicago.
As part of the move, Microsoft founder Bill Gates stands down as board chairman, and takes up a new role as technology advisor, with John Thompson assuming the role of chairman of the board of directors.
“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.”
Microsoft has been looking for a new CEO since previous incumbent Steve Ballmer announced his retirement last August having led the company for the past thirteen years, saying he would retire once a successor was named.
“Having worked with him for more than 20 years, I know that Satya is the right leader at the right time for Microsoft,” Ballmer said in a statement. “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.”
In a further email to Microsoft employees, Ballmer (pictured) expressed his love for the company, saying, “Microsoft is one of the great companies in the world. I love this company. I love the bigness and boldness of what we do. I love the way we partner with other companies to come together to change the world.”
“Thanks for making Microsoft the most amazing place to work on the planet, and thanks for the chance to lead.”
Nadella takes the lead at a crucial point in Microsoft’s history. The company is pouring resources towards its Windows Phone and Xbox gaming divisions, which have become key focuses for the company as they seek to maintain a leading position across the technology industry. The company’s smartphone offerings are set to be a particularly vital part of its strategy in the coming months, with the purchase of Nokia’s handset division due to be completed soon as part of a drive forward in this sector.
What do you know about Microsoft? Take our quiz!