Microsoft confirms new chief executive

<p>Steve Ballmer is being replaced in the role.</p>

Microsoft has confirmed Satya Nadella is going to take over as the company's new chief executive, replacing the outgoing Steve Ballmer.

Mr Ballmer recently confirmed that he is standing down from the role and the company's founder Bill Gates stated that there is nobody better to take over from him than Mr Nadella.

Mr Gates himself is changing his role at the firm, standing down from the position of chairman to take up the role of technology advisor, while he keeps his place on the board. Microsoft's lead independent director John Thompson is going to take over from Mr Gates as the chairman.

"Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionised the world through technology, and I couldn't be more honoured to have been chosen to lead the company," said Mr Nadella. He added that the opportunities that lie ahead are "vast" for Microsoft.

"But to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform. A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly," said Mr Nadella, who becomes only the third chief executive in the history of the company.

Recruitment process

More than 100 possible candidates were assessed by Mr Thompson as part of the process to find a replacement for Mr Ballmer, who has steered the company for many years.

Mr Nadella, a Hyderabad-born executive, joined the company in 1992. He holds degrees in electronics, computer science and business administration.

Although the share price of the company initially rose by one per cent on the back of the announcement Mr Ballmer is to be replaced as chief executive by Mr Nadella, it fell later in the day and was down by around 0.4 per cent by the end of the session.

Stocks were trading at 36.35 at the close, which is still within sight of the firm's 52-week high of 38.98. The lowest the share price of the company has been in the last year is 27.10.

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