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Microsoft likely to appoint head of cloud as next CEO

CEO Satya Nadella is driving for a cross-platform  strategy for Microsoft

Microsoft is likely to appoint Satya Nadella, the company’s head of cloud computing, as its next chief executive officer according to multiple reports.

Sources close to the matter claim that Steve Ballmer is due to step down from his current post imminently, and that the Microsoft board is making preparations to publicly disclose Nadella’s appointment.

Reports also suggest Microsoft chairman Bill Gates may also be replaced by lead independent director of the board John Thompson, who previous to joining Microsoft had spent nearly three decades with IBM and led Symantec as the company’s chief executive.

Thompson is currently leading the company’s search for a new chief executive officer.

A native of Hyderabad, India, Nadella was promoted from his role as head of the server and tools business to lead the cloud and enterprise group as part of Ballmer’s radical restructuring plan put in place in July last year.

The restructuring plan saw Microsoft refocus on mobile and cloud to become a predominately “software and services” company.

In a blog post on the company’s website last December, Thompson emphasised the need for a chief executive with “an ability to lead a highly technical organisation and work with top technical talent.”

Nadella has a deep technical understanding of hyperscale computing and datacentre technology, having worked as senior vice president of research and development for the company’s online services division, and would be a strong candidate to lead the company towards a more cloud-focused future.

Others tipped for the role include former Nokia chief executive officer and current Microsoft vice president of devices & services Stephen Elop, Ford Motor Company chief executive Alan Mulally, and Microsoft executive vice president and Skype division president Tony Bates.


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