FORTUNE -- Microsoft (MSFT) on Tuesday named Satya Nadella as its next chief executive officer, ending an extended search for a new leader. He's only the third CEO in the technology company's 39-year history, and previously served as executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group.
Steve Ballmer, who announced his intention to retire in August after 14 years on the job, will step down immediately. The company's shares were up slightly in morning trading.
Microsoft also named John Thompson as chairman of the company's board of directors, succeeding co-founder Bill Gates. Gates will become a "technology advisor," the company said. He will "devote more time to the company," it added.
In a memo to employees, Nadella wrote that Microsoft must thrive "in a mobile and cloud-first world."
"I believe over the next decade computing will become even more ubiquitous and intelligence will become ambient," he wrote. "The coevolution of software and new hardware form factors will intermediate and digitize -- many of the things we do and experience in business, life and our world. This will be 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."
He added: "To paraphrase a quote from Oscar Wilde -- we need to believe in the impossible and remove the improbable. This starts with clarity of purpose and sense of mission that will lead us to imagine the impossible and deliver it. We need to prioritize innovation that is centered on our core value of empowering users and organizations to 'do more.'"
For more, don't miss Fortune's exclusive exit interview with Steve Ballmer.
The software giant soon will name a new leader after a tumultuous seven months of drama. A look back at the upheaval Microsoft's next CEO must address.
By Geoff Colvin and Adam Lashinsky, senior editors-at-large
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FORTUNE -- If you came of age after Microsoft (MSFT) dominated the technology industry, you might well look at Bill Gates' philanthropic efforrs and call him a hero. Others who had to compete against the de facto monopoly that was Microsoft under Bill Gates might see things differently. To them, he was a vampiric force that fed on MOREJan 8, 2014 12:49 PM ET
As the world prepares for Microsoft to announce a new chief executive, we ask the company's top executives -- including the man himself -- to take a look at the legacy Steve Ballmer leaves on the technology company.
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It's taken a couple of days for the import of Ballmer's retirement to sink in.
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Investors cheered news that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will retire, but there is no obvious successor in line.
FORTUNE -- It's hard not to feel a little bit bad for Steve Ballmer today. Not because he's finally giving up the reins at Microsoft, where his 13-year tenure as CEO has been a string of disappointments for investors, but because there's finally a figure -- arbitrary as it may be -- to MOREMiguel Helft, senior writer - Aug 23, 2013 12:43 PM ET
A video glimpse into a 30-year relationship that is the definition of frenemies.
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"And of the great entrepreneurs of this era, people will have forgotten Steve Jobs"
FORTUNE -- Edited down to 2 minutes for your convenience, author Malcolm Gladwell's provocative remarks about which entrepreneurs will be remembered 50 years from now and which forgotten:
In a nutshell, the bestselling author (Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers) and high-end public speaker (top fee: $80,000 per hour) put Microsoft's (MSFT) Bill Gates on a pedestal ("there will be statues of Gates MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 10, 2012 4:57 PM ET
The Oracle of Omaha has a second rule: Don't buy companies you don't understand
FORTUNE -- Some 18,300 people -- more than attended Barack Obama's massive campaign kickoff Saturday -- showed up for Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK-A) annual shareholder's meeting in Omaha yesterday. And judging from the New York Times' live blog, it was a lot of fun. There were cartoons and comedic skits and celebrity appearances, including Bono, Bill Gates and Debbie ("Buffett Rule") Bosanek, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 6, 2012 11:34 AM ET
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