Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it appointed Satya Nadella as its new chief executive officer.
A longtime Microsoft executive, Nadella will replace Steve Ballmer, who stated in August his intention to step down as CEO within the year.
Nadella will be the company’s third CEO after cofounder Bill Gates and Ballmer. His appointment will see Gates taking on an advisory role helping Nadella to shape technology as well as product direction.
In a statement, Ballmer said Nadella is “the right leader at the right time for Microsoft.”
Despite rumours that Microsoft was considering various outside candidates, the company ended up naming a longtime insider, whose nomination has been reportedly supported by Gates.
Nadella has spent more than 20 years at Microsoft serving various executive roles, the most recent of which was VP of the company’s Cloud and Enterprise business.
He described his appointment as a “very humbling” experience and revealed that it even reminded him of his first day at the company 22 years ago.
“Like you, I had a choice about where to come to work… I came here because I believed Microsoft was the best company in the world… I knew there was no better company to join if I wanted to make a difference. This is the very same inspiration that continues to drive me today,” he wrote in an email to employees.
Microsoft stock inched up by a little more than one per cent during premarket trading after the announcement.