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By | Gavin Clarke 4th February 2014 14:39

It's Satya! Microsoft VP Nadella named CEO as Bill Gates steps down

Server boss steps up to the plate, ends months of fevered speculation

Microsoft’s new CEO is the executive running its $20bn server, tools and cloud computing businesses: Satya Nadella.

Forty-six-year-old Nadella will, as earlier reports had suggested, assume the role immediately, Microsoft said on Tuesday.

Also, as reported, Bill Gates is stepping down as Microsoft chairman.

Gates will stay on the board but in the newly created role as founder and technology advisor.

Microsoft’s new chairman is board member John Thompson. Gates will remain an independent director.

In a message to the world, Gates said it would be “fun” to define the next round of products working with Nadella.

Outgoing MS CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement that Nadella possessed “strong technical skills and great business insights.”

“He has a remarkable ability to see what's going on in the market, to sense opportunity, and to really understand how we come together at Microsoft to execute against those opportunities in a collaborative way,” Ballmer said.

Gates is a close personal friend of outgoing chief executive Steve Ballmer while Gates had worked with Thompson in the search for a new CEO.

Ballmer announced his surprise resignation in August 2013.

Nadella’s appointment ends five months of feverish speculation and reporting over who would succeed Ballmer.

Among those supposedly in the running included Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Nokia chief Stephen Elop, with wild reports lassoing in Ericsson chief Hans Vestberg at one point.

Nadella emerged a front runner as those reports and rumours ran their course.

The Reg put Nadella on its list of 14 possible CEOs early on.

Nadella was recently vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, created in a massive corporate re-organisation in summer 2013.

Prior to that, Nadella had served as vice president of the server and tools unit making and selling business staples including Windows Server and SQL Server. ®

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