Nadella, considered one of the frontrunners for the position, will now have Bill Gates' help tackling the challenge of transforming Microsoft into a competitive devices and services company. Gates relinquished his position as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and will now be a technical advisor to Nadella, and John Thompson, a member of the board who was instrumental in finding the next chief executive, will replace Gates as chairman.
“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” Gates said. “Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together.
With Microsoft's decision to maintain both consumer and enterprise businesses, the selection of an insider with a keen understanding of the company's enterprise business is not surprising.
Nadella, 46, from Hyderabad, India, left Sun Microsystems and joined Microsoft in 1992 and steered the company's move to cloud services and improved their market share in the server and tools business. While Nadella may lack the expertise when it comes to mobile devices, the involvement of Bill Gates could help Microsoft regain lost ground in the mobile and tablet markets.
A Microsoft release said that Bill Gates "will devote more time to the company, supporting Nadella in shaping technology and product direction."
Nadella completed his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University in India. He then earned a master's degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, and went to the University of Chicago to get a masters in business administration. As a young boy, Nadella wanted to be a cricketer and is still a keen follower of test cricket, the longer form of the game.
In an email to Microsoft employees, Nadella wrote, "Many companies aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources and perseverance. Microsoft has proven that it has all three in abundance.”