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Report: Satya Nadella to be named Microsoft’s next CEO, Gates out as Chairman

We’ve heard from a few sources that Microsoft was poised to announce a new CEO ‘by the end of January’ and sure enough, we’re at that point with one day left. Bloomberg is reporting, with high confidence, that current executive VP of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group, Satya Nadella, is being prepped for that CEO position, replacing Steve Ballmer.

What’s more, the report goes on to claim that the company is replacing Bill Gates as chairman with Microsoft lead independent director, John Thompson.

Nadella was often cited as a rising star within the company, though admittedly he may lack the headline grabbing news of other potential candidates. Born in India, the 47 year-old has a strong academic pedigree, attaining a Bachelors of Engineering in Electronics and Communication, Computer Science M.S. from University of Wisconsin, and an MBA from the prestigious University of Chicago. He joined Microsoft in 1992 after a stint at Sun Microsystems, working his way up through the ranks to attain his current position at the Cloud and Enterprise Group.

You can hear about Nadella's vision in this Le Web video interview with him, which is definitely worth your time.

The push of Bill Gates out as Chairman may also have dramatic repercussions too, as board members have often expressed a desire to oust both Ballmer and Gates in exchange for new blood. It looks like they may finally get their way.

All of this is still unconfirmed, though Bloomberg appears confident in the report. Spokesman for Microsoft, Frank Shaw, declined to comment for their article.

We’ll update this story accordingly.

Source: Bloomberg

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Reader comments

Report: Satya Nadella to be named Microsoft’s next CEO, Gates out as Chairman

243 Comments

I don't think duffy knows what he's/she's talking about. Obviously consumers won't know this guy, but he's very well known in the enterprise space. Why? Not because of his academic degrees. Not just due to his role in making Azure the market leading cloud computing infrastructure platform. Not because he's a good guy. It's mainly because he's very communicative! He forms a vision. He communicates the vision. He sells his vision. And he incorporates feedback from enterprise customers allowing them to to help form that vision. If he brings just half of that communicative spirit to the rest of MS, and reverses the completely rediculous and counterproductive shut-up-and-(don't)-ship philosophy MS adopted under Sinofsky, then MS will already have won a lot.

Beatifully put a5cent, which is what my take is hearig him from this clip and I don't know guy before.

He is technically adept, and understands it must work for end users, he believes in continous process improvement and the lingo of "what have you done for me lately" and not see what I did I the past, does not seems to under estimate any competion, willing to duke it out, I'll say he is cappable.

Maybe cause he's Indian. Lol. Just kidding. I think it's because of his background in business and technology. That's what they've always wanted.

Its a mistake because what he handles today is super important. That means he needs to keep his hands in it, diverting his focus or hire someone who knows as much about his dept as he does. That's not possible of course.

+1 That guy duffydeed is has no clue. MS needs a guy who understands tech very well. Of all the guys being considered, my vote was always for Satya. Glad he was selected. Would be one of the smartest decisions MS has made in years!

No, MS needs a guy who understands consumers, not someone who's been living and breathing enterprise for most of his career. Sure the enterprise is (currently) important to Microsoft's bottom line, but with personal devices becoming ubiquitous to the point where people are using a single device (often their own) for work and personal use, Microsoft needs to swiftly recapture that market. Otherwise, they are going to end up losing more than just the consumer space. When you're trying to reinvent your company and change the way you do business, you don't bring in a 20+ year company man. The old culture is so deeply ingrained, it's impossible for it not to get in the way. It's easy to see from here how Microsoft turns into another IBM and fades into obscurity.

Who said he/she was commenting from an Android?
Gosh, so many haters here :(

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

Oh I see, so I can't enjoy both Android and Windows because you (obviously) can't? Anyways we're going off topic. Good day sir =)

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

Saying that WP is "crummy" isn't exactly "enjoying both Android and Windows" as you say.. When you stand up for someone who's obviously trolling don't be surprised when you get put in their category.
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I don't have a problem at all with fans of other platforms using the WPC app, as a matter of fact, I love the idea of it as long as they have something constructive to say... If I want to hear an Android fan state how "crummy" WP is then I would go to Phone arena for that.. Besides, how would Android fans reply to me if I were on the Android central app stating that Android was crummy? There would be only one reason to do that, and that would be to troll, which I don't do...
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And, you're exactly right.. I can't enjoy both Android, and WP.. Android doesn't appeal to me as a platform for many reasons.. But, that's not to say that I don't see value in it, and respect it, and even discuss it unbiasedly... I'm open to admit that Android is not for me, but I never gave you any solid indication that I didn't like it,, I was just standing up for WP... That's kinda irrelevant speculation on your part, DYT?... And finally, What's wrong with me only liking WP? Why do you say it like it's a bad thing? I don't want to use iOS, Android, or BB, but WP fits me, and fills my needs, so why would I waist my time fooling around with platforms that, IN MY OPINION, aren't that great?... The only thing that interest me about the others is when they innovative, what new hardware comes out, and the apps they get... That is what I discuss with mature Android fans, who have a life... If that's you, a mature Android fan whose here to give helpful feedback, whether positive, or negative, then great... But, IMO you should separate yourself from the obvious new found trolls that WPC has acquired in the few short days that the app has been available for Android... And they're so easy to pick out.. They usually never reply back... Lol❕
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Nevertheless, if you're going to be visiting these comment sections frequently then you better get used to hearing me rant like this from time to time, and posting hundreds of comments............
My name is Rodney, and it's nice to meet you. Welcome to WPC, nice to have you here❕❕❕❕❕❕

I'm quite positive that there are way more mindless Android fanbois in forums than there are iOS, and WP trolls put together...
And, I'm speaking per capita, not just because there are literally more Android fans in forums.. If you had a convention with 100 fans of each platform, all 4 platforms.. you would find more insecure Android fans than anyone.. I believe that you would find more closed minded iOS fans than anyone though... And WP, and BB fans would most likely be more humble because we have been humbled... And that's something that big headed fans of other more popular platforms need to look at, and respect. Because, there might be a day when they are humbled as well....

Glad to hear him mentioning XBox and Surface, two items that some of the other candidates were talking about axing but disappointed not to hear him mention (in this interview at least) Bing and WP. Is that telling?

Valid concerns. Particularly since no-one, no-one at MS except the XBox people, have figured out how to sell to the Public. Perhaps a good defensive appointment to protect cash flow, but what about the future?

Fades into obscurity = a brand name ranked with equal if not more recognition than Microsoft? Oh. Must be nice then.

Just because IBM is out of the consumer business doesn't make them in any way obscure.

IBM? Fades into obscurity???
dude just check the last quarter's financial report of IBM. I will be more than happy to have a company that fades into that kind of obscurity :-P

From what I read Nadella is a classy guy, so I don't expect him to make a rampage out of everything Ballmer built. I just hope he has the guts to make some serious changes.

Hopefully not and he'll make it a top priority to make it good enough to like. I'm getting impatient about the lack of progress for 'Windows Phone.

I hope he is very critical of WP... That would just make my WP experience that much better...
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I hope he is especially not fond of the pace in which important features are added.. I hope that's his pet peeve.

Let's just look at it like this.. Mobile is where it's at.. Microkia has no choice but to make WP profitable. WP is not yet in a position for anyone to be talking about shutting it down, and there is no sign that it will be in that position anytime in the future.. WP has literally experienced nothing but growth since it's inception, and I don't think that anyone important at MS is even contemplating shutting WP down... I'm sure if Android wasn't profitable, at some point for a given amount of time, then Google would shut it down to.. And, that goes for any product or service.. But, that should be the least of our concerns regarding any repercussions from this dude being placed as CEO....
Nevertheless, I understand what you're saying, and I'm not naive enough to see that anything is possible.

So Bill Gates is now completely uninvolved, except for holding stocks.

not sure if it's good or bad but he'll still be admired by me

It's good. He's been out of the tech world for over a decade and charity is his number priority anyway. You don't want someone like that having any decision power in Microsoft. 

It goes like this guys. The original inventors of the Calculus had no idea of the potential of what they have invented. Like wise the original inventors of MSFT have no idea of the potential of what Gates and them have invented. This good for MSFT.

Let's hope it only gets better.  The last thin I need to start seeing is "This would have never happened if Gates were stil around!"  It's annoying enough seeing iFanboys use that excuse/complaint everytime something bad hapens.

Are you joking? I can't tell. He meant what happened before when Apple almost going bankrupt after the late Steve Jobs left the company.

Nice thing to know! I almost feel like buying Mr. Softy's stock once I heard the above news. I hope we didn't get rid of the real satya! Lmao!

Can we find a developer to come up with a viable alternative to KeyRing App? They have turned their back on Wp, and the alternatives (redlaser and a hand full of independent apps) don't work much less even begin to come close.

I have wanted to tap onto keyrings mobile site to get the cards in an app.. Probably would just get taken down

Oh good, bring the unknown one! He may have some good ideas. Guess that for a reason he is going to be chosen. And I also wonder what is going to happen with Bill gates as he leaves...

This is bad, this is really bad. I understand about Ballmer, but Gates? Gates is the vision of the company, it's his company after all. If this happens, it reminds me of when Apple kicked Steve Jobs out. We all know what happened then.

Also, Microsoft is trying to become a consumer company, Satya Nadella might be really good, but he is in enterprise division. These 2 divisions are very different and Microsoft needs  to get a grip of consumer division.

Gates hasn't reallly had any real vision for nearly 2 decades now...   He's a lovable figurehead.  Comparing him to to Steve Jobs in 1985 is a big stretch.

Gates even helped Balmer killl the Courier project because it didn'thave office or email.  Completely oblivious to the grassroots excitemeny over the concept.  Meanwhile the iPad came out a few months later and the rest is history...

As far as consumer vs enterprise...  Maybe, I don't know..  On the one hand the enterprise is pretty much where Microsoft makes most of their money from.  Furthermore you hire executives (such as Elop, etc.) to handle those aspects of the business.  The reason the Xbox became the number one console wasn't because Balmer was a die hard gamer.

I had just started to get over the courier, and you re-open the wound. :-) But I agree, the board is ready for a new chairman.

I like Gates but you're stretching it, he was nowhere close to the visionary Steve Jobs was.

Jobs became a visionary, while Gates used to be one. See the difference? Its all about timing, you never saw Gates being the innovator therefore Jobs >Gates?

It's also a bit harsh to judge someone that has spent the majority of the last decade dedicated to the eradication of disease as not being a visionary. His focused changed but he's never stopped being a visionary.

Cmon, the OS that Gates' company produced was the de-facto desktop standard for nearly two decades.  It remains to be seen whether Jobs contributions will be as long-lived, they certainly didn't have as much staying power during his first round at Apple (and definitely not during his stint at NeXT).

Which is why 90% of worlds computers has Windows, and 90% of worlds consumer mobiles (+tabs) has Android? ("smartphones", excluding Nokias Asha and like) <end trolling>

Job was technically stupid, though his design ethos was "visionary". Jobs was all about design, where Gates was the technical nerd who understood how to make things work. The Apple desktop OS is just reskinned Unix.

I would hope you could understand his point just by reading what was typed. If not your intelligence is really in question. If it's sarcasm, it's borderline asshole sarcasm.

He will go down in history as one of the greatest philanthropist ever. Millions will remember him for generations - for far longer than people will remember Steve Jobs.

Who cares? Is it a competition? They both did amazing things, regardless of their personal business practices. Gates is an amazing philanthropist. Jobs was a great CEO (so was Gates). Without Jobs, we wouldn't be in the smartphone world we are today, and if we were, it wouldn't be as good.

No matter how much you 'hate' Steve jobs and apple, they have done amazing things for the industry. If apple hadn't come to disrupt Blackberry and Others, we could still be using phones with basic web browsers and web wrappers for apps. Even if we had gone to the smartphone world, the amount of competition and innovation it would have gone through (regardless what you think of now, the original iPhone WAS truly innovative) would pale in comparison to what we ended up having.

He was a cool guy when I'm met him, very likeable. However, I don't know him or about him enough to make such a verdict.

Just look at what he's done within Azure:

- "Not built here" projects are embraced (nodejs, PHP, etc)

- Open source projects have been embraced - for example you can deploy Linux VMs and Ghost blog (powered by nodejs) to Azure with just a couple clicks.

- Rapid releases of incremental value - ScottGu is announcing a major new Azure feature at least every month.

Etc, etc. :-)

Never mind.. It's the same video as posted by Dan.. Just read the article...Didn't watch it.. lol

yes, he gives me that impression as well ... just curious if he knowlegable of what it will take to reinvigorate Windows in the consumer market and gain marketshare in growth areas like tablet and smartphones.

Shouldn't be. Elop will still be absorbed into the Microsoft Machine to oversee the hardware division (that, or some other position, but either way, Elop is along for the ride).

This really doesn't change anything in terms of the acquisition. It's pretty much been finalized, too late to bail now.

Look, if Elop already planned to offload one hardware division- Xbox, he might as well have done the same to the phone division. Just because he was CEO at a phone-making company doesn't mean he is going to carry that monkey on his shoulders everywhere he goes.

     What comes around, comes around. I still remember when there was no Microsoft in the very early days of PC's. Apple II, Atari 800, Pet, Radio Shack, etc; those were the days. How far have we come. Or not come.

In fact, Bill Gates himself (as 'Micro-Soft') wrote most of Altair BASIC for the original MIT Altair, which is the ancestor of Microsoft BASIC (which Applesoft BASIC, also created by Microsoft, is a fork of).

Yeah, not happy about this. Bates is way more charismatic. And given Microsoft's image problems, they need charismatic leaders. And this guy isn't one.
Microsoft also needs a non-American CEO. And this Nadella guy is way too Americanized even for and Indian.

 

Well unless the first thing this Nadella guy does as CEO is kick out Eflop. In that case he will have my full support.

The leave of Gates from Chairman will not have a good impact on the company image-wise though. Gates is still the only saving grace in Microsoft's image with all this humanitarian work. If he leaves it will be hard to sell the image that Microsoft isn't an old company of greedy corporative guys that go over everything and everyone to get more money.

Lol... Looks like if he kicks out Elop,  you'll support him....despite him being "less charismatic" and "americanized"... It wouldn't make a difference?  :P  Youre still bitter of MS's acquisition of Nokia... ; )

Yeah. He's not the ideal person to me but if he kicks out Eflop, I'll be happy.
And yes. I will never forgive Microsoft for that. I forgave them tons of stuff in the past. But that, that I'll never forget them.
However...they didn't buy Nokia. They just took their employees away which led to the end of their D&S division and therefore, Nokia phones ;)
 

Nadella is good choice for MSFT but Elop should stay at MSFT in hardware division he is the reason of faster release of Lumia phones, if he goes away i don't see anyone at MSFT who can interact with Nokia employees. So Nadella should be The CEO and Elop should be in hardware division to look after Nokia.

What's wrong with Americans?
I don't know this guy but I wouldn't judge him or any other person by their race or nationality like you just did. As for Elop I'm a little sad that he's not CEO (yet) but I hope this guy & Microsoft succeed and continue the "one Microsoft" vision.

There's nothing wrong with being American.
There's everything wrong with Microsoft being too Americanized. Microsoft's only concern is the US market. They obcess over the US and work around their US market. You probably don't notice it because, well, you're American. But if you ever leave the US and go live in Europe or Asia, you'll see that Microsoft treats those markets as second-rate markets.
And because that way of acting MUST end if Microsoft hopes to survive as a D&S company, they need to start by placing someone not-American and not-Americanized in-charge. Someone who knows there's world outside the US and that concernes with all markets equally.

Satya is very charismatic. I actually like him more than Bill G because he can be charismatic in a cool way (think Steve J) whereas Bill G is charismatic in a nerdy type of way.

I think once the public becomes familiar with Satya it'll be easier for him to connect with consumers than Gates and definitely more so than Ballmer.

And you're an idiotic sheep that NEVER posts a single rational thought or contributes with any based opinion.

You're not happy about anything Microsoft, we get it. I guess, to you, any chance you get to hate on Elop and the Nokia D&S buyout is a good one. No surprise to see you here.

I would have preferred Tony Bates as well, UK born, heads business development, handles corporate strategies, OEMs and Vendors relations, background in cloud services with Cisco, ran Skype before acquisition by MS and loads of admirable qualities. I want to believe that the board would have definitely done a thorough job before choosing Satya Nadella cos if they missed it, MS is heading for doom at this critical period for D&S. I hope he gives a more deserving attention to accelerate WP development as a platform.

Gates! Wow I can't believe it. We do need new blood and ideas though. I seriously hope he can shoot some adrenaline into the mobile department inside Microsoft.

It will be interesting to see how a complete regime change effects the stock. Maybe it will jump. People say they want a new Microsoft, well here it is. New leaders in the top spots of the company. The final decision spots.

I'm fine with Nadella but he will have to prove he has the chops & strategy for nursing Windows back to health in the consumer market.  And he needs to show he can accelerate Windows Phone momentum in a market he has little experience.  I was hoping Tony Bates got the job but willing to give this guy a shot.

i don't know him, but better than some non technical person, who hasn't got a clue about technological issues and approaches. Need someone who undertands technology. Hope to see the issues with Win 8 UX inconsistencies fixed! I hope that this guy wouldn;t have allowed win 8 to go be released as it was back then. As a programmer and computer science graduate i didn't like it, many GUI issues, still has. That also damaged WP8's reputation to an extend, loved WP when it first came out but bigger brother didn't help. Lets see, can't be that bad having a techie person at the top of a technology company.

While I am always bragging to people about Windows 8 performance upgrades compared to Windows 7.. I do fully agree with you about the inconsistencies of the GUI. As a half-way undergrad in CIS I know what you mean, the desktop needs a lot of work done to start matching that of the Modern UI and vice versa, the Modern UI needs the flexibility of the desktop options but in its respectful GUI.

I believe Windows 9 is well on its way to do that.. you know a couple of years ago I thought this saying was funny, but it turns out true every time lol "Microsoft has a Windows release voodoo, Only every other OS gets a welcoming hug from the consumers" lol XP.. great PR, Vista..bad PR, Windows 7..Great PR, Windows 8..bad PR, Windows 9? we'll see lol

Called it from the very beginning! Reading the comments above, a lot of people are concerned about this choice but I for one welcome it. Out of all the candidates, Satya is the best equipped to successfully see the One Microsoft vision through.
I like Bill G as much as the next person but I'm not at all sad to see him go. Oftentimes what happens is that founders inadvertently hold their companies back while calling the shots and pulling strings from the boardroom.
For anyone that thinks Satya is a bad choice I encourage you to watch the //build keynote from last year and this year's keynote in early April.
VERY excited for the future of Microsoft!

The guy definitely knows what he is talking about. This is the guy whose group ships Visual Studio (the best development IDE bar none) and runs Azure (the AWS alternative that is doubling every 6 months and supoorts every technology including Microsoft competing technologies like nodejs, php and java in the azure cloud). He clearly gets clould and mobile - listen to his keynote posted couple of comments above. Excited for innovation that will come from MS under him.

That was the most retarded rumor in the last 10 years. Spread by a butthurt Nokia fan who couldn't get over the fact that Elop killed Symbian.

Yes, a new beginning just like Windows 8. This is big new blood, new brains, new ideas. This is good for MSFT.

Does anyone know what Satya's Twitter handle is? @satyanadella looks like it could be but it's quite out of date and hard to verify.

Fond memories of watching Bill Gates at CES touting the newest NT and how you could just hook a PC to the network and your profile etc. Would all magically be ported.

Cue the Blue Screen of Death

I like the move. I wish they had been more decisive and named him sooner. Maybe it will help sell some more WPs to the billion people living in India! Can't hurt! As for Gates, maybe it is time for him to step down from Chairman. It would fine if he stayed on the board, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

Did he speak about Windows 8 and Windows Phone. What is his thoughts about it. Has he spoken about it before?

Is he a money man or a tech man? Refer to Apples recent on going's to understand the question! Me....I'd prefer a tech man...all out if you know what I mean.

Its not fresh blood. He's been there since 1992. I view this move as mistake personally. Im not a troll. I am a bldg 26n, 17, and 36 vet. I love the company.

I don't think having Mr. Gates and Mr. Balmer completely removed from the company is a good idea. Anyway, I just wish both of them and Microsoft all the very best.

Yes, I believe this is good. I love gates. But it is time for a change. A new generation awaits.

I was stuck under MSFT under Vista for 14 years. Just recent I made the switch to Windows 8. There is millions still stuck under Windows XP and Vista. This is good. Change is a must. Gates gone we will see more windows users of the old platform migrating to the new.

Hmm. Aren't the ones who want Gates and Ballmer gone the same who wish to sell off Xbox and Bing and go away from the devices business? This could be bad.

Does anyone know his position on Xbox and Surface? I want/need Microsoft to step it up in the consumer space. I wont ever buy anything Google or Apple again.

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