Meet Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s New CEO

Microsoft stays in-house to select new leader.


Satya Nadella has previously served as vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group.

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Microsoft ended months of searching for its third-ever CEO Tuesday by promoting Satya Nadella, who was previously vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, which could mean efficient continuity but also a lack of fresh perspective on innovation that an outsider executive could have brought.

Microsoft remains profitable despite the decline of the PC market that was once its foundation, but its outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer failed to take advantage of the rise of mobile and cloud technologies since 2000, which is a mistake Nadella must not repeat. Recognizing this danger in a letter to Microsoft employees Nadella said “our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation.”

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“This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft,” Nadella said. “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.”

Microsoft also announced that its founder Bill Gates will serve as a technology adviser.

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“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” Gates said in a release. “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.”

Nadella’s first big public chance to show a new, more innovative Microsoft is coming in April during the company’s Build developers conference.