Microsoft names cloud computing chief as next CEO
LOS ANGELES — Microsoft has named the head of its cloud computing business as the company’s next CEO, tapping a longtime insider to lead efforts to catch rivals in mobile devices and offer more software and services over the Internet.
Satya Nadella replaces Steve Ballmer immediately to become only the third chief executive in Microsoft’s 38-year history. Company founder and first CEO Bill Gates is leaving his role as chairman to serve as an adviser. He will spend a third of his time working on future products and technology.
Nadella, 46, most recently headed the company’s small but growing cloud computing unit, in which customers buy software and services housed on distant servers connected to the Internet. It’s a departure from Microsoft’s roots making software installed directly on personal computers.
In addition to growing that business, one of Nadella’s first tasks as CEO will be the completion of Microsoft Inc.’s $7.3 billion purchase of Nokia’s phone business and patent rights — part of a plan to boost Windows Phone software in a market dominated by iPhones and Android devices.