Microsoft names Nadella CEO, Gates out as chair
David Goldman, NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Microsoft has named Satya Nadella as its new CEO and announced that founder Bill Gates will step down as chairman of the company’s board.
Nadella is a 22-year veteran of Microsoft who has been overseeing various aspects of the company’s corporate software business since 1992. Over the past several years, Nadella’s cloud and enterprise division has been one of Microsoft’s best-performing units.
He was named CEO amid a major transition at Microsoft. The company’s famed consumer business is struggling, including sales of Windows. Meanwhile, corporate revenue now makes up two-thirds of Microsoft’s overall sales and is instrumental in driving Microsoft’s growth.
“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Gates in a prepared statement. “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.”
Microsoft also said that Gates will be working closely with Nadella in a new technology advisor role. Gates will be replaced by current Microsoft board member and former Symantec CEO John Thompson as new chairman of Microsoft.
As Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group chief, Nadella oversees the company’s server software and back-end technology for corporate customers. He also is in charge of several consumer cloud products, including Office 365, the Bing search engine, Xbox Live and Skype.
Before starting his current role, he also headed Microsoft’s server and tools business, its corporate division and research and development for Microsoft’s online services unit. Prior to joining Microsoft, Nadella worked at Sun Microsystems, which is now owned by Oracle.
“I couldn’t be more honored to have been chosen to lead the company,” Nadella said in a statement. “The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform.”
Nadella said a main part of his job as CEO will be to speed up the process of bringing innovative products to customers. Microsoft has struggled to adapt to the mobile revolution, as Apple and Google have dominated that market.
Gates and Steve Ballmer, who is stepping down as Microsoft CEO, will remain on the company’s board.