Microsoft has confirmed that Satya Nadella will take over from Steve Ballmer as CEO.
Nadella’s appointment is effective immediately, allowing Ballmer to retire early.
Promoted from his position as executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group, Nadella has been a long-running favourite to take the top job. His appointment concludes a five-month hunt by Microsoft, which considered more than 100 candidates to succeed Steve Ballmer.
Nadella’s enterprise pedigree will also intensify speculation about Microsoft’s attempt to transition to a “devices and services” company.
“Today is a very humbling day for me,” said Nadella, according to an internal memo. “While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more. Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation.”
“This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft,” he added. “Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places — as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world.”
As part of the reshuffle, Bill Gates will step down as chairman of the board and instead take on a new role as founder and technology adviser. Nadella said Gates would “devote additional time to the company” with a focus on technology and products. Ballmer, meanwhile, will keep a position on Microsoft’s board.