- Title: FILE: Microsoft names Nadella as next CEO, Thompson as chairman
- Date: 4th February 2014
- Summary: DAVOS, SWITZERLAND (FILE - JANUARY 2012) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BILL GATES AT THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
- Embargoed: 19th February 2014 12:00
- Location: Mozambique
- Country: Mozambique
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA7OF3JL7118LX1HBF759KUNCUN
- Story Text: Microsoft Corp named 22-year company veteran Satya Nadella as its next chief executive officer on Tuesday (February 4), ending a protracted search for a new leader after Steve Ballmer announced his intention to retire in August.
Nadella called the appointment "humbling" in an email to the company's employees. He is only the third CEO in Microsoft's 39-year history, following co-founder Bill Gates and Ballmer.
Nadella, who led the creation of Microsoft's Internet-based, or "cloud," computing services, said in a videotaped statement that he would focus on "ruthlessly" removing any obstacles to innovation at the company.
Microsoft also said John Thompson, lead independent director, would succeed Gates as chairman. Gates will assume a new role as technology adviser and retain a seat on the board, the company said in a statement.
Shares of the world's largest software maker were up 0.6 percent at $36.70 (USD) in morning Nasdaq trading.
The Nadella appointment came after a search committee led by Thompson gave itself a year to find a new CEO, but the process took longer than most had expected. Sources said Ford Motor Co CEO Alan Mulally was a leading contender for many months until he recommitted himself to the automaker in early January.
Nadella also beat out various other candidates for the job. Several were close to the company, like Stephen Elop, who is set to rejoin Microsoft when its acquisition of Nokia's handset business closes, and Tony Bates, the former Skype boss now in charge of Microsoft's business development.
Investors and analysts are already weighing how effective Nadella will be in reigniting the company's mobile ambitions and satisfying Wall Street's hunger for cash.
Microsoft faces a slow erosion of its PC-centric Windows and Office franchises and needs somehow to challenge Apple Inc and Google Inc in the new realm of mobile computing. At the same time, some investors are campaigning for retrenchment and a bigger cut of the company's massive cash pile.
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