Gates and Ballmer step aside, Nadella named new Microsoft CEO

After much speculation Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has named Satya Nadella as its new CEO, succeeding Steve Ballmer, who is retiring. In his new role, Nadella will develop a mobile-first, cloud-first strategy to grow the company.

Microsoft also announced that Bill Gates, previously chairman of the board of directors, will assume a new role on the board as founder-technology advisor.

"During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella," Gates said in a statement. "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."

Nadella is only the third person to be named CEO since Microsoft was founded in 1975. He joined the company in 1992 and heads up the division that develops technology to run corporate computer servers and other back-end technology.

Nadella aims to speed innovation at Microsoft to better compete with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). Mircosoft's priorities lie in building mobile and cloud programs. In an email to Microsoft employees, Nadella said he recognizes the need for Microsoft to "reimagine" itself and embrace a mobile-, cloud-first philosophy.

"In our early history, our mission was about the PC on every desk and home, a goal we have mostly achieved in the developed world," he said. "Today we're focused on a broader range of devices. While the deal is not yet complete, we will welcome to our family Nokia devices and services and the new mobile capabilities they bring us."

Nadella also tapped Bill Gates to help him accomplish this reorientation. The company said that in his new role, Gates will devote more time to the company, supporting Nadella in "shaping technology and product direction."

"Satya's asked me to step up, substantially increasing the time that I spend at the company," Gates said in a video statement. "I'll have over a third of my time available to meet with product groups. It'll be fun to define this next round of products, working together."

For more:
-See this Microsoft press release
-See this email to Microsoft employees from Satya Nadella
-See this video statement from Bill Gates

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