Satya Nadella, head of Microsoft’s cloud computing division and enterprise business, has been named as the replacement for out-going CEO Steve Ballmer.
Nadella was appointed after a team of headhunters concluded a five-month search that included some of the most world’s most famous executives.
After Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer Nadella is only the third person to lead Microsoft since the company was founded 39 years ago.
Bill Gates said: “During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella.
“Satya 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.”
Ballmer described Nadella as “the right leader at the right time” for Microsoft.
Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 and has had leadership roles in cloud services, server software, internet search and business applications. He was born in Hyderabad, and holds a master's degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin and a master's in business administration from the University of Chicago.
While he is largely unknown outside the company, Nadella runs one of Microsoft's fastest-growing divisions. Microsoft's commercial cloud services grew its revenue by 107% compared to a year ago, the company said when it reported its fiscal second-quarter results on 23 January.