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Microsoft appoints Hyderabad-born Satya Nadella as CEO

MUMBAI: Putting all speculations to rest, Microsoft Corporation has finally announced the appointment of Hyderabad-born Satya Nadella as the chief executive officer and member of the board with immediate effect.

Moving up from his role as executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group, Nadella replaces Steve Ballmer who announced his retirement on 23 August 2013.

Ballmer said, “Having worked with him for more than 20 years, I know that Satya is the right leader at the right time for Microsoft. I’ve had the distinct privilege of working with the most talented employees and senior leadership team in the industry, and I know their passion and hunger for greatness will only grow stronger under Satya’s leadership.”

Meanwhile, former chairman of the board Bill Gates will step up to take on a new role of founder and technology advisor devoting more time to the company and supporting Nadella to shape up the technology and product direction.

Microsoft founder and member of the board of directors Bill Gates stated, “During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella. He is a proven leader with hardcore 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 joined the company in 1992, and has since spearheaded major strategy and technical shifts across the company’s portfolio of products and services. One of his most significant projects was the company’s move to the cloud and the development of the cloud infrastructures in the world supporting Bing, Xbox, Office and other services.

During his tenure overseeing Microsoft’s server and tools business, the division outperformed the market and took share from competitors.

Commenting on his role, Nadella mentioned, “Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionised the world through technology, and I couldn’t be more honoured to have been chosen to lead the company. The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform. A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.”

On the other hand, John Thompson will lead as independent director for the board of directors, taking over as the chairman of the board of directors.

Thompson said, “Satya is clearly the best person to lead Microsoft, and he has the unanimous support of our board. The board took the thoughtful approach that our shareholders, customers, partners and employees expected and deserved.”

With the addition of Nadella, Microsoft’s board of directors now comprises Ballmer, Gates, Thompson, former CFO of JP Morgan Chase Dina Dublon, Harvey Mudd College president Maria M Klawe, Seagate Technology PLC chairman and CEO Stephen J Luczo, August Capital general partner David F Marquardt, Bank of America Corp former vice chairman Charles H Noski and BMW Bayerische Motoren Werke AG former chairman of board of management Dr Helmut Panke.

Seven of the 10 board members are independent of Microsoft, which is consistent with the requirement in the company’s governance guidelines that a substantial majority be independent.