Following reports last week that a decision was close, Microsoft has announced the name of its new CEO. Satya Nadella will immediately take over as Microsoft’s third CEO, replacing Steve Ballmer. Ballmer announced plans to retire in August.

Before starting at Microsoft in 1992, Nadella worked for Sun Microsystems. His most recent position before being tapped to Microsoft was executive vice presiding of the Cloud and Enterprise group. 

In his email to staff this morning, Nadella introduced himself and set forward the outline of a mission for the company under his leadership. “While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more,” he writes. “Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation.”

The move also heralds a change for company founder Bill Gates. Gates will vacate the role of chairman of the board. He will step into a new position on the board as founder and technology advisor. John Thompson will assume the role of chairman and remain one of the seven independent board members. Nadella’s role as CEO will elevate him to the ten-person board.

[Source: Microsoft (1), (2)]


Our Take
Nadella’s appointment to the role of CEO begins to establish a pattern of promotion from within. The transition of Bill Gates from chairman to technology adviser will be interesting to watch, as he players a more significant role for Nadella than he did for Ballmer.