Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has yet to announce its new chief executive, and the wait seems to be unending, but with every passing day speculations are also growing that the company is close to naming the successor to Steve Ballmer, and the general consensus right now is that it will likely be an insider who gets the coveted title.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s executive vice president of cloud and enterprise, now looks the most probable man to replace Ballmer, who announced plans to retire in August of last year. On Thursday, Re/code, citing numerous sources close to Microsoft, said Nadella is the most likely Microsoft insider for Ballmer’s job.
Other in the race for Microsoft CEO
Previously, the name of former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was making the rounds, but now the experts are thinking it could be Satya Nadella. Speculations surrounding Elop’s name for the job gained ground previously because the executive re-joined Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) after the latter acquired Nokia’s mobile device business for $7.2 billion last year.
Though Nadella’s has emerged as the top contender for the job, some of the investors feel that an outsider would be more beneficial for Microsoft. Investors were favoring Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally, but he pulled out of contention, revealing his plans to stay at the automaker.
Nadella might prove a good fit
Terming Nadella, as an “enterprise guy,” analyst Mark Moerdler, of Bernstein Research says that Microsoft will gain under the leadership of Nadella as the company is making a shift to the cloud and subscription services. “And here’s a guy who does that.”
At the time of the largest reorganization in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s history, in July 2013, Nadella was made leader of the cloud and enterprise engineering group. Prior to this, he was heading the company’s server and tools division. Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise business has shown improvement under Nadella. For the fiscal second-quarter, the revenue from the commercial cloud services increased 107% from a year ago.
“There will be more focus on the cloud and subscription story,” Moerdler said. “How many cloud vendors are growing by 107%? There’s only one, and that’s Microsoft.”
Nadella, as of now, looks the most prospective successor of Ballmer as the former has been with the company and understand the culture well. And most importantly, Nadella is running that part of the company’s business, which in years to come may become Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s core business.