New Microsoft CEO confirmed as Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella, Microsoft's vice president of cloud and enterprise, to take over top job from Steve Ballmer.

Microsoft's new CEO will be Satya Nadella, ending months of speculation about who will take over from Steve Ballmer.

The software giant confirmed earlier today that Nadella has taken up the role with immediate effect, and has also been welcomed onto Microsoft's board of directors.

"During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella," said company founder Bill Gates.

"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," he added.

Nadella has worked at Microsoft since 1992 and, prior to his appointment as CEO, held the position of executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise Group.

"The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform," said Nadella, about his appointment.

"A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly."

News of Nadella's imminent appointment had been circulating since late last week, with Bloomberg naming Nadella as Ballmer's replacement.

Ballmer announced in August 2013 that he would be retiring within the next 12 months, after serving 14 years as CEO.

Bloomberg also reported the Redmond giant was preparing to replace Bill Gates, Microsoft's founder, as chairman with independent director John Thompson putting himself forward for the role.

In the statement, announcing Nadella's appointment, Microsoft confirmed the move.

As such, Gates' role within the company is to change with him assuming a new position on its board of directors as Founder and Technology Advisor.

"[He] will devote more time to the company, supporting Nadella in shaping technology and product direction," the statement explained.

"John Thompson, lead independent director for the board of directors, will assume the role of chairman...and remain an independent director on the board."

While Nadella has been named as a potential candidate since the beginning of the CEO race, and earlier this month was reported to be one of the three remaining candidates on Microsoft's shortlist.

Nadella's appointment should not come as much of a surprise, given Microsoft's increased focus on cloud in recent years and his previous role overseeing the firm's Cloud OS strategy. 

Cloud OS, which was launched in mid-2013, is the company's integrated cloud approach, which has also become central to its business strategy.

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