Microsoft is starting a formal search process for its next CEO, following the news that Steve Ballmer will be retiring from that role within the next 12 months.
According to reports, 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 running for the position of the IT giant's new chief executive.
Microsoft Corp has reportedly set up a special committee to find a new chief executive. 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.
Apart from Nadella, there are others too in the fray. The following is a list of executives Reuters said Microsoft is considering:
Tony Bates - Came to Microsoft two years ago as CEO of the acquired Skype and was recently elevated to lead Microsoft's business development and overall strategy.
Terry Myerson - The executive in charge of operating systems, which is still the heart of Microsoft, ranging across PCs, tablets, phones and the Xbox game console.
Kevin Turner - As Chief Operating Officer for the last eight years, the former Wal-Mart Stores Inc executive leads Microsoft's enormous sales organisation, but is generally considered to lack the technology credibility to be the CEO.
Steven Sinofsky: The former head of the Windows unit was widely tipped as a potential Microsoft CEO until his abrupt departure in November. His reputation has taken a hit since then with the dismal sales of the Surface tablet he launched and the lukewarm reception of Windows 8.
Vic Gundotra: The high-flying Google Inc engineer, key to that company's mobile phone and social initiatives, is a former Microsoft executive who could be tempted to return.
Reed Hastings: The 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.
Paul Maritz: One of the key powers in the early days of Windows, Maritz left in 2000 and eventually ran virtualisation firm VMware Inc until last year. Talk occasionally surfaces that he could return to Microsoft, but he has never indicated any interest publicly.
Bill Gates: The co-founder of Microsoft is still Chairman, but has focused his day-to-day efforts on philanthropy since 2008 when he vacated his office on campus. People close to him say he is not considering a return to the CEO position.
But,the buzz on Satya Nadella is getting louder. ZDNet notes Nadella maybe one of the top runners for the post as he has worked across quite a variety of business units at the company.
Satya Nadella and his team deliver the "Cloud OS", Microsoft's next generation backend platform. He's currently the president of the Server and Tools Business.
Previously, Nadella was the 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.
He has also worked as a senior VP of R&D for the online services division (Bing, MSN and advertising). And before that, he led the Microsoft business solutions unit (Dynamics ERP and Dynamics CRM).
According to TheIndian Express, Nadella hails from Hyderabad and has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master's degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin. He also holds a second master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.
A Busines Insider reader says Nadella would be a perfect choice as "He is young; a 21-year veteran of Microsoft; seen and managed most of its businesses; been very successful in anything he has picked up; has the necessary engineering background; a strategic thinker; clear and purpose-driven."
With inputs from Reuters
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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 22:50:06 IST