Microsoft’s board of directors has announced Satya Nadella as the next chief executive to succeed Steve Ballmer. The company also revealed that John Thompson, Microsoft’s lead independent director is to take over as chairman, replacing company founder Bill Gates.
The Redmond, Washington based software giant has ended its five month search for CEO, with India-born Satya Nadella as the third CEO in its 39 year history. Nadella, with over 22 years of experience with Microsoft, has been overseeing various aspects of the company’s corporate software business and has been heading the company’s cloud computing and enterprise division, one of Microsoft’s best-performing units.
Bill Gates said in the announcement: “Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella.”
Steve Ballmer, who announced plans to step down as CEO last August, congratulated Satya Nadella and said: “I have absolutely no doubt Microsoft is in good hands, with Satya and the rest of the senior leadership team that is in place. The future of Microsoft is incredibly bright.”
As a part of the announcement, John Thompson, a member of the Microsoft board, will replace Bill Gates and serve as Microsoft’s new chairman. Bill Gates is said to take up a new role as technology adviser and retain a seat on Microsoft’s board, suggesting he will serve a more hands-on role in the company. Microsoft said in statement that Gates, “will devote more time to the company, supporting Satya Nadella in shaping technology and product direction,” in his new role as technology adviser.