It’s been almost six months since Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that he would be stepping down, leaving the company in a rudderless quandary. But the waiting game might soon be over, now that multiple news outlets are reporting that Microsoft is closing in on someone, who, if chosen, would only be the third CEO in Redmond’s history.
According to Bloomberg, sources say the new chief is Satya Nadella, who currently runs Microsoft’s enterprise and cloud divisions. His contributions proved indispensable in helping the company record revenue last quarter; revenue for the company’s commercial cloud services grew by 107% from a year prior.
Sources say the plans aren’t final. But as one high-ranking executive tells Kara Swisher at Re/code, the folks at Redmond are getting a little stir-crazy: “We aren’t doing anything but waiting.”
Nadella, 46, joined Microsoft in 1992 from Sun Microsystems. If selected, his appointment could indicate a dynamic strategy shift away from software–Microsoft’s longtime bread and butter–and toward cloud services and hardware, like the Surface. “He’s an enterprise guy,” Mark Moerdler, an analyst at Bernstein Research, tells MarketWatch. “The real opportunity for Microsoft is in that they are moving to more cloud and subscription services. And here’s a guy who does that.”
Microsoft’s board is also rumored to be replacing founder Bill Gates as chairman. An official announcement should be ready sometime in early February. Indeed, if Nadella is selected as the face of one of the world’s most powerful technology companies, one can assume he’d at least update his Twitter photo.