Microsoft names Nadella new CEO, Gates steps down as board chairman

Microsoft logoThis morning, Microsoft announced that Satya Nadella, until now Microsoft’s vice president in charge of the company’s enterprise and cloud products, has been named the company’s new chief executive officer. The company also named a new chairman of the board, as Bill Gates will return to help Nadella plot the course for the company and take a greater role in the company’s operations.

Satya Nadella

The announcement ends months of speculation about who would replace outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer. But it also signals a less radical shift at the software giant, as Gates will return to provide a great deal more guidance over the company’s technology development.

In an e-mail to employees this morning, Nadella wrote:

Today is a very humbling day for me. It reminds me of my very first day at Microsoft, 22 years ago. Like you, I had a choice about where to come to work. I came here because I believed Microsoft was the best company in the world. I saw then how clearly we empower people to do magical things with our creations and ultimately make the world a better place. I knew there was no better company to join if I wanted to make a difference. This is the very same inspiration that continues to drive me today.


It is an incredible honor for me to lead and serve this great company of ours. Steve and Bill have taken it from an idea to one of the greatest and most universally admired companies in the world. I’ve been fortunate to work closely with both Bill and Steve in my different roles at Microsoft, and as I step in as CEO, I’ve asked Bill to devote additional time to the company, focused on technology and products. I’m also looking forward to working with John Thompson as our new Chairman of the Board.

New board chairman Thompson was the former CEO of Symantec and most recently a lead independent director for Microsoft.

In addition to the Nadella announcement, Microsoft released this video interview of the new CEO on his first day in charge at Redmond.

As you might expect, it's not an interview full of tough questions or concrete details. But Nadella describes himself as a curious man, someone who buys more books than he can read or registers for more online courses than he could finish. He said he felt "honored, humbled, and excited" at the opportunity, and he believes Microsoft is ready to succeed in this "mobile and cloud-driven world" due to its heritage as a productivity company and its current iteration as a "do-more company." That potential is ultimately why he accepted the position.

"In a software powered role, what's a better place than Microsoft to take all this human potential we have and apply it to a world that's rapidly becoming software-driven," Nadella said. "That opportunity is what fundamentally drives me and got me to raise my hand for this job."

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Bill Gates, Microsoft

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