MSFT shares flat as company insider hired as new CEO, after five months of uncertainty.
Indian - born Satya Nadella is Redmond's new CEO and member of the Board, effective immediately.
Known as "Mr Nice Guy", Nadella was previously Executive Vice President of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, and has worked at the Redmond-based technology giant since 1992.
He was seen by many analysts as the 'safe choice' to replace Steve Ballmer who announced his retirement last year.
The cloud guru has "hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together," MSFT said in a statement.
MSFT shares rose just 1%, but slipped to $36.30 - down 14% - in after hours trading on the Nasdaq.
The software giant's new CEO admitted he has a major task ahead, in a "a software-powered world."
"The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, 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," he said in a statement.
|Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella pictured, middle, flanked by former CEO's Gates and Ballmer.|
"The co-evolution of software and new hardware form factors will intermediate and digitize," over the next decade, he believes..."made possible by an ever-growing network of connected devices, incredible computing capacity from the cloud, insights from big data, and intelligence from machine learning."
In his speech at Microsoft's employee rally earlier today, he noted devices are where experiences come together referring to Surface 2 tablet as a good example of how the cloud and mobile together enhance the user experience.
He spoke of an ecosystem where cloud comes first. Innovation, not tradition, is MSFT guiding principal.
Its no doubt Microsoft has huge challenges ahead - to push Windows 8 touch-based OS, into the hearts and minds of consumers and enterprise users, grow Windows Phone 8, and make the software relevant in 21st century mobile dominated world, with Google Android and iOS attacking form all sides - mobile, tablet and PC.
Last month he spoke of the need to renew every day, notes Forbes. "You renew yourself every day. Sometimes you're successful, sometimes your not. But it's the average that counts."
"With Thompson and Nadella, MS clearly looking forward without forgetting what's good of its past" ComTech analyst Carolina Milanesi tweeted.
Of Gates' new role she said: "this to me sounds like more day to day involvement not less," and who believes cloud will be a big theme of a Nadella-led Microsoft.
"Satya is clearly the best person to lead Microsoft, and he has the unanimous support of our Board," Thompson said.