NEW YORK — Microsoft Corp. reportedly is about to name Satya Nadella, the executive responsible for its cloud and enterprise division, as Steve Ballmer's successor as CEO.
Big data is fast becoming a major economic force, so the choice of Nadella would appear to reflect the moment in the industry and the place where Microsoft needs to be. Nadella would have beaten a host of high-profile candidates. News reports have suggested that the candidates have included Ford boss Alan Mulally, former Hewlett-Packard boss Mark Hurd, Ericsson chief Hans Vestberg, and Stephen Elop, who left a top job at Microsoft to run Nokia.
Appointing Nadella "would be likely to go down well with Microsoft's rank and file, where he is seen as a popular and consensus-driven engineer," according to a Financial Times report Friday (subscription required).
Nadella was born in Hyderabad in 1967 and studied computer science at the University of Wisconsin. He spent time at Sun Microsystems before joining Microsoft 22 years ago. He ran Microsoft's consumer online services business, including its Bing search engine, before moving to the enterprise side.
He now runs the team behind the next-generation Cloud OS platform, which powers all of Microsoft's business cloud services. The company's cloud services division is said to have played a key role in its great fiscal second quarter (which ended in December). Revenue from cloud services rose 107% from a year earlier to $609 million.
Industry analysts are giving Nadella high praise for his work as the cloud chief, but there is some concern about how he would handle decisions on tablets, smartphones, and other areas where he has no experience.
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