Washington- The search is finally over. Software giant Microsoft has named Hyderabad-born Satya Nadella as its new CEO to replace Steve Ballmer, making him perhaps the most powerful Indian-born tech executive in the world.
Nadella, 46, who was said to be in the race for the top job with another Indian American, Chennai-born Sundar Pichai, a senior vice president at Google, took over immediately to allow Ballmer to retire early.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, meanwhile, is moving to a new role as technology adviser with John Thompson, Microsoft board member and former Symantec CEO, assuming the role of chairman, the software giant announced.
“There is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Gates in a prepared 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’s naming to the post, effective immediately, makes him the third CEO since the Redmond, Washington company was founded in 1975.
“The one thing that I would say that defines me is I love to learn,” Nadella told Time in his first interview as Microsoft’s chief. “I get excited about new things. I buy more books than I read or finish.”
“Today is a very humbling day for me,” said Nadella, a 22-year veteran of Microsoft who currently heads the company’s Cloud and Enterprise group, in an internal memo to Microsoft employees.