Microsoft has named longtime engineering executive Satya Nadella as the new CEO. Nadella replaces Steven A. Ballmer who announced his resignation in August. It was also announced that company founder Bill Gates would serve as an adviser to incoming chief Nadella.
Board member John W. Thompson served as the interim chief and oversaw the search for a new chief executive. Thompson will also become the company’s chairman replacing Mr. Gates.
“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Mr. Gates, who will also remain a member of the board. “Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together.”
In a statement, Mr. 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.”
Nadella told ABC news that his focus will be on a “mobile-first, cloud-first world” as Microsoft tries to catch rivals such as Apple, Google and Amazon. The company also wants to expand its business as a provider of software and services over the Internet. The 22-year Microsoft veteran served as the head of Microsoft’s cloud computing business. Gates will be working on products and technology.
One of Nadella’s first tasks as CEO will be to complete $7.3 billion purchase of Nokia’s phone business and patent rights — part of a plan to boost Windows Phone software in a market dominated by iPhones and Android devices.
Nadella said Tuesday in a statement, “Going forward, it’s a mobile-first, cloud-first world.”