Microsoft Corp. (IW 500/16), in its drive to rebrand itself as a devices and software company, has named a senior executive from its cloud group as its new CEO.
Satya Nadella, who has worked for Microsoft for 22 years, until today was the executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. He led the company's transition to the cloud and development of its cloud infrastructure.
In an email to employees announcing his promotion, Nadella said: "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."
Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder and a member of the Board of Directors, lauded Nadella for his "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," Gates said in a statement released by the company.
Long-time top executive Steve Ballmer in August announced plans to retire once his successor was chosen.
“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 Ballmer.
In addition to Nadella's appointment, Microsoft also announced Gates will step down as chairman of the board and will assume a new role on the board as founder and technology advisor.
John Thompson, the lead independent director on the board, will become chairman of the board.