Big news broke late on Thursday as Bloomberg reports that Microsoft will name cloud and enterprise boss Satya Nadella as its next CEO and is considering ousting cofounder Bill Gates as its chairman. The move to appoint Nadella as the next CEO isn’t much of a surprise since it matches reporting we read earlier on Thursday that he was the top candidate for the job. News that the company may force Gates out as chairman is very surprising, however, since Gates was seen having a key role in the company going forward.
Bloomberg’s sources say that Gates could “still play a role” within the company, although what that role is will depend on the wishes of Nadella and the board of directors. Several reports on the CEO search process have said that many candidates were concerned about the influence that both Gates and outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer might have over the company even after the appointment of a new chief executive.
One thing that could make Nadella a good fit is that he’s signaled that he’s already on board with outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer’s plan to remake Microsoft from a software company to a devices and services company and he’s emphasized the importance of cloud computing as a key part of that transition. All that said, Bloomberg’s sources say that the plans to name Nadella “still aren’t finalized,” which means that there’s no guarantee that the job is actually his just yet.