Microsoft's Bill Gates steps down

Microsoft's Bill Gates steps down
Published: 04 February 2014
Seattle - Microsoft named company veteran Satya Nadella as its next chief executive officer on Tuesday, ending a longer-than-expected search for a new leader after Steve Ballmer announced his intention to retire in August.

Microsoft also said founder Bill Gates would step down as chairperson and assume a new role as "founder and technology advisory", reported AFP.

Gates "will devote more time to the company" in his new role as the tech giant moves to transform itself amid a changing landscape in the world of computing, the company said.

John Thompson, lead independent director, would succeed Gates as chairperson.

Nadella is only the third CEO in Microsoft's 39-year history.

The choice of Nadella was widely expected, and investors and analysts are already weighing how effective the 22-year veteran will be in re-igniting the company's mobile ambitions and satisfying Wall Street's hunger for cash.

Microsoft faces a slow erosion of its PC-centric Windows and Office franchises and needs to somehow challenge Apple Inc and Google Inc in the new realm of mobile computing.

At the same time, some investors are campaigning for retrenchment and a bigger cut of the company's massive cash pile.

Most agree that Nadella's background in creating Microsoft's Internet-based, or "cloud," computing services makes him a safe pair of hands to take the company forward, but there remains a question over his ability to make Microsoft a hit with consumers or with impatient shareholders.
- Reuters, AFP

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