Microsoft’s board is close to naming Satya Nadella, head of the company’s cloud and enterprise software business, as its next chief executive, according to a Bloomberg report.
Nadella has been a leading candidate ever since Steve Ballmer announced in August that he was stepping down. Other candidates floated during the search process have one by one signaled that they aren’t taking the job, including Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally and Ericsson Chief Executive Hans Vestberg.
Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw declined to confirm or deny the report.
“We’re really not commenting on it, so there’s nothing more to say,” he said.
Bloomberg’s report also said Bill Gates may step down as board chairman, perhaps to be replaced by current director John Thompson.
Here’s an excerpt from an August column in which I talked about why Nadella would be a good choice to lead the world’s largest software company:
The energetic native of Hyderabad, India, previously ran the Server & Tools business, which has been Microsoft’s brightest star and is now its second-largest business. Nadella has degrees in electrical engineering, computer science and business, covering all the bases to build devices and software services.
Equally important, Nadella is a fresh face who has charisma and flair.
Speaking to developers in San Francisco in June, Nadella said his group is straddling the cloud, winning business online and off, then showed how easy it is to build iPhone apps using Microsoft’s latest software tools.