Bill Gates has quit as Microsoft chairman to take up a new role as technology adviser in a management shake-up that will see Satya Nadella become chief executive.
The announcement ends a long search for a new chief after Steve Ballmer announced his intention to retire in August.
Mr Nadella is only the third chief executive in Microsoft’s 39-year history, following co-founder Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Bill Gates in a statement. “Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth.”
Mr Gates will support Mr Nadella “in shaping technology and product direction”, Microsoft said.
Microsoft also said John Thompson, the senior independent director, will succeed Mr Gates as chairman. Gates will assume a new role as “technology advisor,” the company said in a statement.
Mr Nadella grew up in Hyderabad, India and his appointment as CEO makes him the most powerful Indian-born tech executive in the world.