Bill Gates has been appointed Founder and Technology Advisor to the Board.
Satya Nadella, as predicted, will be Microsoft’s new CEO. He ascends to his new position effective immediately. Bill Gates has been given a new title, Founder and Technology Advisor to Microsoft’s Board, and will devote more time to the company, advising Nadella on technology and product direction.
“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Gates. “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.”
Nadella’s qualifications for the role are unquestioned; he’s a twenty year Microsoft veteran and former head of the cloud computing division. Yet his independence will be in question, particularly with Gates hiding behind the curtain. Microsoft’s investors need reassuring; Microsoft’s revenue has been growing over the last few years, but at nothing like the 24% growth rate it enjoyed a decade prior. That stagnation is precisely why Ballmer had to go, but fear that Gates would interfere in the running of the company after Ballmer’s departure is why some investors hoped Gates would be next out the door.
Since 2008 Gates has devoted himself to philanthropy via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and earlier this year said that he intends to devote most of his time to charitable works while still contributing part time as a board member.
Update: Updated to include first interview with Satya Nadella as CEO of Microsoft.