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Microsoft’s board of directors also announced that former board chairman Bill Gates will assume a new board role as founder and technology advisor, devoting more time to the company and supporting Nadella in shaping technology and product direction. The new board chairman will be lead independent director John Thompson.
Nadella, formerly executive vp of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group, also becomes a member of the board of directors.
“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” Gates said in a statement. “Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth.”
Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 and has since spearheaded major strategy and technical shifts, including the company’s move to the cloud and development of one of the world’s largest cloud infrastructures, supporting Bing, Xbox, Microsoft Office and other services. During Nadella’s time overseeing Microsoft’s server and tools business, the division outperformed the market and took share from competitors.
“Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionized the world through technology, and I couldn’t be more honored to have been chosen to lead the company,” Nadella said in a statement. “The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform. A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.”
Ballmer added: “Having worked with him for more than 20 years, I know that Satya is the right leader at the right time for Microsoft. I’ve had the distinct privilege of working with the most talented employees and senior leadership team in the industry, and I know their passion and hunger for greatness will only grow stronger under Satya’s leadership.”
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