Update 1:46 p.m. ET: Satya Nadella is in contract talks with Microsoft, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Detailed within a report released by Bloomberg earlier today, Microsoft’s enterprise and cloud chief Satya Nadella will likely be the next CEO of the software company. Nadella has been on a short list of potential candidates for the last several months, but it appears as if Microsoft’s board is prepared to offer Nadella the job. While the plans aren’t final according to people involved in the selection process, an official announcement of Nadella as CEO would end a five month search process that originally started with more than 100 potential candidates.
In addition to Nadella as CEO, insiders have indicated that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is considering stepping down from the Chairman position and shift into more of a part-time role within Microsoft. Much of Gates attention has been turned to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation over the past several years as well as other philanthropic ventures. Bloomberg sources have also indicated that Microsoft lead independent director John Thompson is being considered to take over the Chairman position after Gates steps down.
Assuming the report is accurate, 46-year-old Nadella would, of course, replace 57-year-old Steve Ballmer by August 2014. While investors will likely be wary about any new CEO, MIT professor Michael Cusumano believes Nadella is a good choice for the position. Specifically, Cusumano said “Microsoft is a contentious enough place that you wouldn’t want to bring in someone who lacked credibility with the engineers.”
Working at Microsoft since 1992, Nadella headed up the Cloud OS platform that powers Microsoft’s clouds services that include Office 365, Xbox Live, Bing, SkyDrive and Skype. Regarding his education, Nadella received “a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago” according to Microsoft’s employee profile page.