Ballmer, who led the company as CEO after the nerve-wracking Y2K scare—and also the man who replaced Microsoft legend Bill Gates—announced last August that "within twelve months" he'd be calling it quits. Well, the day has come to announce his successor, and that man is... Satya Nadella. In the past few weeks leading up to this epic announcement, many believed the front-runner to the race was going to be Nadella, Microsoft’s former cloud and enterprise head. Nadella will be Microsoft's third CEO since the company's birth in 1980.
With the news of Satya's appointment comes the news that Bill Gates will step down as chairman of the board and take on a new technology adviser role to "devote more time to the company." And with him stepping down, the man who led the new CEO search, John Thompson, will take Gates' place.
Prior to joining the Microsoft family, Nadella worked with Sun Microsystems as a member of its technology staff. Before taking the mantle of EVP for Microsoft's Cloud initiative, Nadella had accomplished much within Microsoft's walls—President of the server and tools business; Senior VP of R&D for the online services division; VP of the business division; senior VP of the search, portal and advertising platform group; VP of development for the business solutions group and GM of Consumer and Commerce. In the press release regarding his appointment, Nadella was quoted as saying:
"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."For more perspective from the new head of Microsoft, check out his first interview below as the CEO of Microsoft.
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