Here’s Why Microsoft Is Right To Pick Satya Nadella To Be CEO

Satya nadella
Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft’s server and tools unit Le Web / YouTube

Word is that Microsoft is about to announce that the guy heading up its cloud computing efforts, Satya Nadella, will be named Microsoft’s new CEO.

His appointment may even coincide with news that Bill Gates will be leaving his position as chairman of the board, reports Bloomberg.

Nadella’s appointment would be interesting and possibly controversial for investors. That’s because when Steve Ballmer stepped down it was because he thought Microsoft needed fresh blood. “The best way for Microsoft to enter a new era is with a new leader who will accelerate change,” Ballmer told the Wall Street Journal.

Nadella wouldn’t exactly be fresh blood but he is well respected at Microsoft and in the industry.

As new broke that he would be named CEO, Box CEO Aaron Levie tweeted this nice thing about him.

Here’s a rundown of who he is and why he’s be a good choice to lead the company.

  • Nadella has been with Microsoft for 22 years, since 1992.
  • He currently heads up Microsoft’s cloud computing efforts. He also ran Bing, and although Bing has never been Microsoft’s crown jewel, Nadella helped it grow.
  • Ballmer moved him from Bing to run Microsoft’s $US19 billion Server and Tools Business, pushing out long-time Microsoft exec Bob Muglia in the process.
  • Nadella was the one that helped bring some of Microsoft’s most popular technologies, like its database, Windows server and developer tools, to the cloud.
  • That cloud, called Azure, has gained respect as an alternative to Amazon’s cloud among the industry.
  • He also helped Microsoft bring a cloud version of Microsoft Office to the cloud, Office 365. Microsoft says Office 365 one of its fastest growing products ever.
  • Cloud revenue grew to $US20.3 billion in the last fiscal year (ended in June), from $US16.6 billion when he took over in 2011.
  • He’s also a smart and diplomatic person, known internally as someone that’s good at getting warring factions to work together, Bloomberg reports. That’s means he should be able to work with the reorganization Ballmer put in place last summer named “One Microsoft.”
  • Prior to Microsoft, he worked at Sun Microsystems, now owned by Oracle.
  • He grew up in Hyderabad, India, and has an electrical engineering degree from Mangalore University, and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin. He’s also got an MBA from the University of Chicago. That kind of engineering background gives him street cred at Microsoft, too.

If you’ve never seen him or heard him speak, here’s an interview he gave in December.