Satya Nadella is Microsoft's next CEO, Bill Gates his wingman
Javed AnwerJaved Anwer,TNN | Feb 4, 2014, 07.41 PM IST
NEW DELHI: Over five months after Steve Ballmer announced that he would step down, Microsoft named India-born Satya Nadella as its new CEO on Tuesday. In an accompanying move, the company also announced that its would step down from his ceremonial post of board chairman to "devote more time to the company" and to support "Nadella in shaping technology and product direction."
This is particularly interesting because with this move, is not only trying to empower to carry out his vision -- he has backing of Gates -- but is also hoping to assuage fears over his lack of experience in consumer space. The idea seems to be that Nadella will take care of the enterprise side of the business, which makes most of the money for Microsoft, while Gates can pitch in with inputs on consumer-related products like the Windows Phone where Microsoft is faltering.
Though Nadella was discussed as of since Ballmer's announcement to retire, rumours were that Microsoft was looking for an external candidate and not internal because it wanted a fresh approach to its business. But in the end it turned out that Microsoft board decided to play it safe and handed the reins of the company to a man who has been with the software giant for the last 22 years and who knows the company inside out.
"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," said Nadella. "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."
"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 hardcore 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."
"Having worked with him for more than 20 years, I know that Satya is the right leader at the right time for Microsoft," said Ballmer.
Nadella was earlier heading the company's cloud and enterprise business. While in his earlier responsibility he looked after a division that had $19 billion annual revenue, the post of Microsoft CEO is a big step up for him. The company generates around $78 billion revenue in a year and is currently facing a number of challenges in the market where Apple and Google have emerged more exciting and innovating technology companies.
Nadella completed his engineering degree from Manipal University before heading to the US for higher studies. He joined Microsoft in 1992.
The new chairman at Microsoft will be John Thompson, who led the search for the new SEO.
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