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It’s official: Microsoft names Satya Nadella as new CEO [updated]

Microsoft New CEO Satya Nadella

The rumors were true… well, some of them, anyway. Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it has picked enterprise and cloud boss Satya Nadella as its next CEO. The move comes after more than five months of searching that saw the company cycle through several rumored “top” candidates including Ford CEO Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. In its official announcement naming Nadella as its new chief executive, Microsoft praised him for having “a relentless drive for innovation and a spirit of collaboration.”

In his prepared remarks discussing his vision for Microsoft, Nadella put a lot of emphasis on speeding up the process of innovation at the company to keep up with a quickly changing computing market.

“Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation,” he said. “The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must move faster, focus and continue to transform. I see a big part of my job as accelerating our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.”

In an interview with Quartz given late last year, Nadella talked extensively about how the company’s shift from being a software company to being a devices and services company will change its focus away from being just about Windows. Of particular importance to Nadella is how the cloud is changing Microsoft’s conception of just what a computing platform should be.

The 46-year-old Nadella has worked at Microsoft for the past 22 years and was seen by many industry observers as chairman Bill Gates’ preferred choice to lead the company following the planned departure of current CEO Steve Ballmer. As part of the transition, Gates will step down as Microsoft chairman and remain at the company as a technology advisor. Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will also remain on the company’s board of directors.

UPDATE: Microsoft has posted an in-house interview with Nadella talking about his vision for the company. We’ve reposted the full video below.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.