Reports have begun to surface that Microsoft is about to name a new CEO. According to Bloomberg, the company is very close to giving the position to Satya Nadella, the company’s enterprise and cloud chief. Nothing has been finalized yet, but the official announcement could be made next week. Here’s what we know so far about this developing story.
UPDATE: PC World reported on February 4 that Nadella has officially been named the CEO of Microsoft.
1. Satya Nadella Has Deep Microsoft Ties
Cool to hear Satya Nadella is inside lead as next CEO of $MSFT. Met him a few years ago; very thoughtful exec.
— Timothy B. Jones (@tbjbuzzient) January 30, 2014
Nadella has been with Microsoft since 1992, according to Investors.com. His long tenure at the company gives him a good perspective on the company’s past and its future.
2. Satya Nadella Is the Underdog Candidate
The Huffington Post notes Nadella would beat out business “star” talent for the position. Other names considered for the CEO role included Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg. Compared to these other guys, Nadella is somewhat of an unknown. However, Nadella did get a positive endorsement in the Bloomberg video above.
3. Nadella Would Be Only the Third CEO in the Company’s History
Here's why Satya Nadella will almost certainly be Microsoft's next CEO http://t.co/Padj90aGCu
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) January 30, 2014
Microsoft was founded in 1975. Since its founding, the company has only had two CEOs. First, Bill Gates. Then, Steve Ballmer. If given the position, Nadella would be number three. Microsoft has taken their time picking a new CEO. Re/code notes that January 30, 2014 marks Day 160 of the CEO hunt.
4. Bill Gates May Also Be Out
Reuters reports that as Nadella moves up the company ladder, Bill Gates may be stepping down from his position as chairman. Independent lead director John Thompson may replace Gates. The reason Gates might step down is unclear, but it may have something to do with his increased focus on charitable organizations in recent years.
UPDATE: PC World reports that Gates will be stepping down as Chairman of the Board, and taking on the title of “Technology Advisor.” Microsoft’s own John Thompson (a former VP at IBM) will replace Gates as Chairman.
5. Nadella Already Has a Vision for Microsoft
— Christopher Mims (@mims) January 30, 2014
In an interview with Quartz last month, Nadella laid out his vision for Microsoft’s future.
This notion of digitization of nearly everything, that’s a global phenomenon. As as a a percentage of GDP, IT spend broadly defined is only going to increase. That’s a pretty good spot to be in if you’re a technology provider. Then the next question is what is the shape of that spend? And that’s one of the places that we as a company have bet that there are two forms in which which people will consume technology is in devices and services or in cloud and devices broadly…So the way we look at it is how do we become part of the fabric which is helping with this digitisation of everything?
BloombergBusinessweek argues that Nadella would not be a “radical agent of change” for the company, but that he is liked and respected in the tech industry.