Report: Satya Nadella to be named Microsoft CEO; Gates out, too

Bloomberg moots he may be replaced by John Thompson

Microsoft's Satya Nadella

Microsoft's Satya Nadella

Microsoft's Cloud chief, Satya Nadella, will lead the company as its next chief executive, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Microsoft's board is "preparing to name" Nadella chief executive, Bloomberg reported on Thursday afternoon (US time). Nadella, whose official title is executive vice-president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, had been one of the front-runners in the race to replace current chief executive Steve Ballmer, who said last August that he planned to step down within a year.

But the board is also considering replacing Bill Gates as chairman of the company, Bloomberg reported, ousting the company's co-founder and possibly replacing him with John Thompson, Microsoft's lead independent director. If Gates is to go, as PCWorld suggested last year, it would remove two of Microsoft's iconic employees from the software giant.

The problem with replacing Ballmer or Gates, is that no one executive at Microsoft has traversed the range of the company's products, which include consumer businesses like the Xbox, cloud services such as Azure, the company's Windows business, server and development services like Visual Studio, and an emerging mobile business, too.

Nadella, 44, is an Indian-born engineer with degrees in electronics, computer science (from the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee), and business administration (from the University of Chicago). Nadella has worked since 1992 at Microsoft, and is credited with launching BizTalk, Microsoft's Commerce Server, and Microsoft's Office Small Business products.

However, Nadella is most famous for having overseen Microsoft's online initiatives, where he transformed Windows Live Search into Bing. The market share for Microsoft's search offering stands at 18.2 percent, according to Microsoft's recent earnings.

One problem that naysayers point to: Nadella has no experience as a chief executive, unlike internal rivals like Tony Bates, who ran Skype, and external candidates like Alan Mulally of Ford, who took himself out of the running in early January, saying he was committed to Ford.

So far, Ballmer's commitment has been to a "devices and services" strategy. If Nadella is named CEO, its unclear whether he'd commit to that direction. On the other hand, his track record indicates that he can fulfill at least one half of that strategy.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cloud computingmanagementMicrosoftskypesoftwareWindowsFordsteve ballmerbill gatesazureXboxbingSatya Nadella

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Ada Chan

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

I highly recommend the Dynabook Portégé® X30L-G notebook for everyday business use, it is a benchmark setting notebook of its generation in the lightweight category.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?