Microsoft names Satya Nadella CEO, Gates steps down as Chairman

satya nadella microsoft ceoIt’s official! The rumors and speculation can finally end. Satya Nadella has been named the third CEO of Microsoft as Ballmer exits.

46 year old Nadella was born in Hyderabad, India, and has been with Microsoft for 22 years. He comes from Microsoft’s Servers and Tools Business, where he pushed cloud initiatives, supporting many other divisions within Microsoft including XBox, Bing, Office, and more. He’s an interesting pick, as his background would suggest Microsoft is focusing on bringing more cloud integration to consumer products. I personally hope to see more unification between various products, and cloud data is going to be key in delivering on a “One OS Per Person” strategy.

A New Chairman of the Board…

Bill Gates is also stepping down from his position of Chairman, and will be moving to a new position on the board. He’ll be “Founder and Technology Advisor”, and will be working directly with Nadella in shaping future Microsoft strategies.

John W Thompson Microsoft ChairmanJohn W. Thompson of Virtual Instruments (former CEO of Symantec, and former General Manager of IBM Americas) will move into the Chairman position on Microsoft’s Board of Directors. This appointment further reinforces their focus on cloud computing.

Following news of the announcement, trading has been quietly positive. At the time of this post, MSFT was up almost two tenths on the NASDAQ.

Microsoft has put together a wonderful Welcome Page for Nadella’s announcement with interviews and video, and you can read the full press release below.

Microsoft Board names Satya Nadella as CEO
Feb. 04, 2014
Bill Gates steps up to new role as Technology Advisor; John Thompson assumes role as Chairman of Board of Directors.

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 4, 2014 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Satya Nadella as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors effective immediately. Nadella previously held the position of Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group.

“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Bill Gates, Microsoft’s Founder and Member of the Board of Directors. “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.”

Since joining the company in 1992, Nadella has spearheaded major strategy and technical shifts across the company’s portfolio of products and services, 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, Office and other services. During his tenure overseeing Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business, the division outperformed the market and took share from competitors.

“Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionized the world through technology, and I couldn’t be more honored 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.”

“Having worked with him for more than 20 years, I know that Satya is the right leader at the right time for Microsoft,” said Steve Ballmer, who announced on Aug. 23, 2013 that he would retire once a successor was named. “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.”

Microsoft also announced that Bill Gates, previously Chairman of the Board of Directors, will assume a new role on the Board as Founder and Technology Advisor, and will devote more time to the company, supporting Nadella in shaping technology and product direction. John Thompson, lead independent director for the Board of Directors, will assume the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors and remain an independent director on the Board.

“Satya is clearly the best person to lead Microsoft, and he has the unanimous support of our Board,” Thompson said. “The Board took the thoughtful approach that our shareholders, customers, partners and employees expected and deserved.”

With the addition of Nadella, Microsoft’s Board of Directors consists of Ballmer; Dina Dublon, former Chief Financial Officer of JPMorgan Chase; Gates; Maria M. Klawe, President of Harvey Mudd College; Stephen J. Luczo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Seagate Technology PLC; David F. Marquardt, General Partner at August Capital; Nadella; Charles H. Noski, former Vice Chairman of Bank of America Corp.; Dr. Helmut Panke, former Chairman of the Board of Management at BMW Bayerische Motoren Werke AG; and Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Virtual Instruments. Seven of the 10 board members are independent of Microsoft, which is consistent with the requirement in the company’s governance guidelines that a substantial majority be independent.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

 

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