Satya Nadella, head of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise group, which is coming to the fore as the company struggles to catch up in online and mobile computing, is in running for the position of IT giant's new chief executive.
Microsoft Corp, which set up a special committee to find a new CEO after Steve Ballmer announced his retirement on Friday, might consider Nadella from the list of top company executives that also include Tony Bates (head of business development and overall strategy), Terry Myerson (executive in charge of operating systems) and Kevin Turner (Chief Operating Officer for the last eight years).
Satya Nadella and his team deliver the “Cloud OS”, Microsoft’s next generation backend platform. The Cloud OS platform not only powers all of Microsoft’s Internet scale cloud services (including O365, Bing, SkyDrive, Xbox Live, Skype and Dynamics) but also fuels global enterprises around the world to meet their most challenging and mission-critical computing needs. Today, businesses everywhere depend on the products that make up the Cloud OS, including Windows Azure, Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio and System Center.
Previously, Nadella was president of Microsoft’s $19 billion Server and Tools Business and led the transformation of the business and technology from client-server software to cloud infrastructure and services. Prior roles include senior vice president of R&D for the Online Services Division and vice president of the Microsoft Business Division.
Before joining Microsoft in 1992, Nadella was a member of the technology staff at Sun Microsystems.
A native of Hyderabad, India, Nadella earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master's degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.
The world's largest software company has no anointed successor, and has had only two CEOs in its 38-year history - Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates.
There are also other few names from outside the company doing the round. Among them are Vic Gundotra, Reed Hastings and Paul Maritz.
Gundotra, the high-flying Google Inc engineer and key to that company's mobile phone and social initiatives, is a former Microsoft executive who could be tempted to return.
Hastings, CEO of Netflix Inc is a rising Silicon Valley star and has intimate knowledge of Microsoft's business after several years on its board, until his departure last year.
One of the key powers in the early days of Windows, Maritz left in 2000