Steve Ballmer's replacement was under Microsoft's nose the entire time
After announcing his impending retirement in August of last year and giving Microsoft 12 months to find a replacement, Steve Ballmer can now exit stage left for last time now that it has a new leader. Microsoft's board has named Satya Nadella Chief Executive Officer (CEO), promoting from within to fill the position for only the third time since Microsoft was founded 39 years ago in 1975.
Nadella, who previously served as Executive Vice President of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, was rumored to be the front runner to succeed Ballmer after some high-profile external candidates dropped out of the race, including Ford chief Alan Mulally and Ericsson's Hans Vestberg . Nadella also beat out Qualcomm COO Steve Mellenkopf and former Nokia chief Stephen Elop , among others.
"During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella," said Bill Gates , Microsoft’s Founder and Member of the Board of Directors. "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."
That's a pretty strong endorsement coming from company co-founder Bill Gates, who will step into a new role as Technology Advisor. Gates will spend more time at Microsoft grooming Nadella for the position and helping him navigate the company through what have become some rough waters as of late.