Microsoft Chooses Its Third CEO

After much speculation and a churning rumor mill, Microsoft has named Satya Nadella as its third CEO, effective immediately. The only other two people to sit in the big chair at Microsoft have been Bill Gates himself and Steve Ballmer.

“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Gates. “Satya is a proven leader with hard-core 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.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Nadella has been with Microsoft since 1992, and his most notable achievements have been related to the cloud. The company’s cloud infrastructure supports products such as Xbox, Bing, and SkyDrive, as well as more recently, Microsoft Office. The handling of the shift from the local desktop to the cloud as it pertains to Office was and is a major, delicate move, and so far it’s gone reasonably well.

Nadella also built a strong-performing Server and Tools Business division during his time at Microsoft.

In a statement, Nadella said: ““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. 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.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

At a time when mobile appears to be the area in which Microsoft needs the most help, choosing a cloud guy to head up the company may seem an odd decision. On the other hand, the cloud side of things is a huge part of Microsoft’s business strategy, so perhaps Nadella is the perfect person for the job. One would hope that there’s someone within Microsoft that will be able to figure out how to crack the mobile nut.

A final item of note concerning the new roles at Microsoft is that Bill Gates is taking on a more hands-on position. His new title is Founder and Technology Advisor, and he’ll be helping Nadella “in shaping technology and product direction”. It will be interesting to see if Gates’ fingerprints will be all over Microsoft again, or if Nadella will become his own man.