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India-born techie Satya Nadella named Microsoft CEO Email this page
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NEW YORK: India-born Satya Nadella has been named as the new CEO of 78 billion USD tech giant Microsoft and he attributed his leadership capabilities to playing cricket.
46-year-old Nadella, who takes over as the third CEO of the Redmond-based firm, is the first Indian to head the world’s largest software firm in its 38-year history, ending months of speculation as to who would succeed the retiring Steve Balmer.

Nadella, along with Google’s Sundar Pichai, were the contenders for the top job.

A cricket enthusiast, Hyderabad-born Nadella, who had joined Microsoft in 1992, previously served as the Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise Group.

John Thompson, who is currently lead independent director, will succeed Microsoft founder Bill Gates as Chairman. Gates will don a new hat of technology adviser and retain a seat on the board, the company said in a statement.

“As Satya Nadella becomes the third CEO of Microsoft, he brings a relentless drive for innovation and a spirit of collaboration to this new role,” Microsoft said in a statement, announcing Nadella’s appointment.

Reacting to his appointment, Nadella said, “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.”

In an email to employees on first day as CEO, Nadella paraphrased a quote from Oscar Wilde – “We need to believe in the impossible and remove the improbable”.

“We are the only ones who can harness power of software and deliver it through devices and services that truly empowers every individual and every organisation,” he said.

Praising Nadella as a “proven leader” with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together, Gates said, “During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella.”

Nadella takes on as the CEO at a time when the company is facing a slow erosion of its PC-centric Windows and Office businesses and is looking at refuelling its mobile ambitions with the takeover of Finnish handset maker Nokia. Before joining Microsoft. Nadella was a member of the technology staff at Sun Microsystems.

Nadella attributed his rise to the top to cricket. “I think playiong cricket taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career,” he said shortly after was named for the top post.

Another contender Earlier, the name of another India-born technology executive was doing the rounds as a candidate for the top job, a report said.

SiliconANGLE, a media website that focuses on the technology industry, had reported that Sundar Pichai, the 42-year-old head executive for Google Chrome and Apps, was also the “top choice” for the position of Microsoft CEO and negotiations with him were on in full swing.

SiliconANGLE quoted sources close to the hiring team as saying that Pichai was the leading external candidate and is in discussions with the hiring committee.

Pichai is Senior Vice President for Android, Chrome and Apps at technology major Google. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Technology from IIT-Kharagpur, holds a Master’s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

SiliconANGLE reported he had been a “force driving Android integration” across Google and was rumored to be in the running for leading jobs at Twitter. -PTI

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