Microsoft names Nadella as next chief executive

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As expected, Microsoft has announced that Satya Nadella it so be its next top boss.

The 22-year veteran of the company is currently the head of its cloud-computing division

Co-founder Bill Gates said there is no better person to lead Microsoft, during what he called “this time of transformation”.

Current chief executive Steve Ballmer, who announced last August that he would retire once a successor was named, also said Nadella is “the right leader at the right time for Microsoft”.

Nadella is only the third CEO in Microsoft’s 39-year history, following Gates and Ballmer.

Gates’ role will also change. He is to stand down as chairman, but will advise Nadella on shaping technology and product direction at the world’s largest software firm. Gates will retain a seat on the board.

Microsoft also said John Thompson, lead independent director, would be the new chairman.

Wall Street wasn’t displeased and the company’s shares rose.

Most agree that Nadella’s background in creating Microsoft’s internet-based, or “cloud” computing services makes him a safe pair of hands to take the company forward.

What is less certain is his ability to make Microsoft a hit with consumers or with impatient shareholders.

Investors would like to see Nadella re-ignite the company’s mobile ambitions and challenge Apple and Google.

However some of them would prefer retrenchment and to get their hands on a bigger cut of the company’s massive cash pile.

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