Satya Nadella: Microsoft drops Bill Gates as chairman and appoints 46-year-old as CEO

The cricket and poetry-loving 46-year-old has taken the helm of the technology giant

New York

Microsoft has appointed the cricket and poetry-loving Satya Nadella as its new chief executive to help take the company into technology’s new era of cloud computing and mobile devices.

Although it made its name and fortune by creating products and services for the old world dominated by the personal computer, the appointment of the India-born executive is a sign that Microsoft sees cloud, mobile, web and other markets as the future.

Mr Nadella, 46, has worked at Microsoft for 22 years and his job was running its cloud and enterprise division. He has also excelled at mastering the firm’s products and services in unglamorous back-office corporate technology.

“Satya has got the right background to lead the company during this era,” said Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder. “There is a challenge in mobile computing. There is an opportunity in the cloud.”

Steve Ballmer’s theatrical farewell to Microsoft: Is fervour a help or hindrance to business success?  

Mr Nadella has asked Gates to be his adviser on technology in the new role, and the new CEO will also have the support of a tech industry veteran, John Thompson, who replaces Gates as Microsoft’s chairman. Gates will stay on Microsoft’s board and ironically will now spend more time in his advisory role. He stopped day-to-day work for the firm in 2008 to focus on philanthropy.

 

Mr Nadella is only the company’s third CEO, following Steve Ballmer, who stands down immediately, and Gates himself. He faces massive challenges, not least masterminding the company’s integration with Nokia’s mobile phones unit, which it bought last year. He will also have to address any attempts by activist shareholders to force Microsoft to break itself up.

He said: “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.”

The new boss needs to make sure Microsoft maintains its positions in its traditionally dominant products of Windows, Microsoft Office and related software that run corporate computer systems – but also see new opportunities faster than in the past.

Microsoft beats market expectations, buoyed by sales of Surface tablets and the Xbox One  

Mr Nadella reckons he learned as much about management from playing cricket at school in Hyderabad as anywhere else. “Perhaps more than anything, I think playing cricket... taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career,” he has said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most