Microsoft names Satya Nadella as new CEO

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

The Microsoft board of directors has chosen a long-time employee as the next CEO to lead the company. Satya Nadella, age 46, is the company’s third CEO in its 39-year history, replacing Steve Ballmer who announced his retirement recently.

The Washington-based software giant has also found a new chairman in John Thompson, Microsoft’s lead independent director. Thompson replaces Bill Gates, who still remains a member of the board and assumes the title of “founder and technology advisor.”

“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Gates in a press statement.

Reception about the news has been positive, with Microsoft’s shares up 0.3% to $36.58 in early trading.

Satya Nadella has been with Microsoft for over two decades, rising wihin the ranks until heading the company’s enterprise and cloud divisions. These business units have performed favorable, so Microsoft is banking on Nadella’s business savvy to reverse its downward spiral.

Zynga CEO Don Mattrick, who headed Microsoft’s Xbox division until July last year, has nothing but praises to Nadella. “It will be very interesting to see what he does. It’s a transition for Microsoft, in what it intends to do for its growth agenda.”

The new Microsoft CEO will be heading the company in the age where mobile computing has become the norm, shifting the balance unfavorably against Microsoft.

“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 in a prepared statement.

It has been a struggle for Microsoft lately when it comes to relevance. The company has been deemed too slow to develop exciting consumer products, something Ballmer has been criticized about as he insisted on milking Microsoft’s legacy Windows operating system at the time when the Internet, as well as mobile and cloud computing, were on the rise.

Source: USA Today

Image source: Stephen Brashear/ ASSOCIATED PRESS

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