Late last year, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that he would be leaving the company in the next 12 months, as soon as a replacement is found. This week, Microsoft announced who that replacement will be: Satya Nadella. India-born Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 after a brief stint at Sun Microsystems and had risen to become the head of cloud and enterprise before the announcement.
After Ballmer’s resignation, there was speculation as to who would succeed Ballmer as the third CEO of the software giant: some outsiders such as Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Ford CEO Alan Mulally were considered as likely candidates.
Microsoft also announced that founder Bill Gates will be leaving the Board of Directors and become an advisor to Nadella, which may lead to more direct influence over the company’s future roadmap. One thing is for sure, though: Gates will not return to the company full-time. He made this clear in 2008 when he took a less active role to focus on his philanthropic efforts, eight years after stepping down from his position as CEO.