Satya Nadella, former EVP of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, has been officially chosen as Microsoft’s next CEO.
Many have speculated that Nadella would succeed CEO Steve Ballmer, who has been Microsoft’s CEO since January 2000. Ballmer announced in August 2013 that he would step down in 12 months.
This could signal an increased emphasis at Microsoft on cloud computing for businesses and consumers. Microsoft has been very successful in generating revenue from its cloud and server ventures. In its last quarterly report, Microsoft’s commercial cloud services revenue more than doubled, and Office 365 commercial seats and the number of Azure customers both grew triple-digits. Also, SQL Server and System Center reported double-digit revenue growth.
Nadella has been instrumental in overseeing Microsoft’s server business in its transition towards a more agile, cloud-first business model, and making it one of the company’s top-performing business units.
According to Tuesday’s announcement, Microsoft founder Bill Gates will also give his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors to John Thompson, but continue to provide technology and product direction input as Board “Founder and Technology Advisor”.
In Nadella’s email to employees, he notes that innovation, rather than copying others, will be prioritized, and that the company will try to keep mobility and cloud at the center of its business.
He wrote, “As we look forward, we must zero in on what Microsoft can uniquely contribute to the world. The opportunity ahead will require us to reimagine a lot of what we have done in the past for a mobile and cloud-first world, and do new things.”