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Microsoft may have picked its next CEO

SoftwareSatya Nadella

Bill Gates. Steve Ballmer. Satya Nadella?

Microsoft may be about to get the third CEO in the company’s history. A report from Bloomberg quoting people with knowledge of the process says the software giant is preparing to give Satya Nadella the top job. The report also indicates co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates may be replaced as chairman – possibly by independent director John Thompson, who has been leading the search for Ballmer’s replacement.

While several high-profile external candidates had been touted for the CEO’s role, including Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, some have either dropped or been dropped from consideration, and it appears Nadella has emerged as the favourite from a pack of internal candidates that also included COO Kevin Turner.

A native of India, Nadella worked at Sun Microsystems before joining Microsoft in 1992. He has led a number of businesses within Microsoft, including the servers and tools division and, most recently, as head of the company’s enterprise and cloud business, has been at the forefront of the company’s culture shift from a software business to one focused on devices and services.