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Microsoft Names New CEO as Gates Exits Chairmanship

4 Feb, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

As expected, Microsoft Feb. 4 named Satya Nadella its new CEO, replacing Steve Ballmer, who is retiring. Founder Bill Gates relinquishes his chairmanship position and becomes a “technology advisor,” according to the software giant. John Thompson assumes the role of chairman.

Nadella, who was born in Hyderabad, India, is a Microsoft insider, having joined the company 22 years ago. He helped create the operating system that would become known as Windows NT.

Although a software expert, Nadella will be responsible for Microsoft’s stated transition toward hardware manufacturer along the lines of Apple and Samsung.

Indeed, once Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia Oyj's mobile phone business is completed, Nadella will oversee a global workforce of more than 130,000 employees.

“Our industry does not respect tradition, it only respects innovation,” Nadella said in a statement. “The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must move faster, focus and continue to transform. I see a big part of my job as accelerating our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.”

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

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