Microsoft announced late last year that then-CEO Steve Ballmer would be stepping down from his position to make room for a new leader that would help the company through the "important transformation" that it was said to be undergoing. The following months played host to endless rumors and speculation surrounding Ballmer's successor, and today Microsoft has finally revealed exactly who will take the helm as its third CEO.
Microsoft announced today that its Board of Directors has named Satya Nadella as the company's next Chief Executive Officer. Nadella has been with Microsoft for 22 years and most recently served as the Executive Vice President of its Cloud and Enterprise team. The new Microsoft CEO has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from India's Mangalore University, a master's degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.
In a letter to Microsoft employees, Nadella says that the company "must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform" and that he plans to speed up Microsoft's efforts to bring "innovative products" to market more quickly.
Microsoft also announced today that founder Bill Gates will be stepping down from his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors and will take on a job as Technology Advisor. As part of this new role, Gates is expected to end up devoting more time to the company that he helped to create and also to aid Satya Nadella in product direction. Taking Gates' former position as Chairman of the Board of Directors will be John Thompson, lead independent director for the board.
Today's announcement is big for Microsoft, not only because the company is gaining a new CEO, but also because it's one of the largest technology companies in the world that just so happens to be in the middle of some major product transitions with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Now Microsoft has its new CEO, 6 months after Ballmer announced that he would be exiting his position. Considering Nadella's former job as EVP of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise team and the increasing focus on the cloud that we're seeing in both traditional computing and in wireless, it'll definitely be interesting to watch Nadella lead Microsoft and to see how big a role the cloud plays in his future plans.
What do you think of Satya Nadella as Microsoft's new CEO?