Microsoft has named Satya Nadella as its new chief executive officer and will replace Steve Ballmer effective immediately.
Nadella previously held the position of executive VP of the company's Cloud and Enterprise group, and has been part of the firm for over 20 years, having joined in 1992.
During his time, the new CEO has worked on the cloud services supporting Bing, Xbox and Office. He has also overseen Microsoft's Server and Tools business.
His appointment ends months of speculation following Ballmer's announcement that he would be retiring from the firm in August last year.
“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
“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 added: “Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionised the world through technology, and I couldn’t be more honoured to have been chosen to lead the company. The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform. A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.”
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has also stepped down as chairman of the board to assume a new role as founder and technology advisor. The computing giant said this would mean Gates will now devote more time to the company's operations and will help support Nadella in shaping its technology and product direction.
Lead independent director of the board John Thompson will assume the role of chairman of the board, as well as retaining his current role.