It's official: Microsoft’s CEO search is over. Following recent reports, the software giant is appointing Satya Nadella as its new CEO to replace Steve Ballmer. 46-year-old Nadella will take over immediately, allowing Ballmer to retire early. Nadella had been part of a number of candidates that Microsoft was believed to have interviewed for the role, with the company originally pushing to name its Ballmer successor before the end of last year. Despite the search extending into 2014, the timing of the CEO announcement is important as it places Nadella in charge ahead of the closure of Microsoft’s Nokia deal and its ongoing reorganization.
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"Today is a very humbling day for me," says Nadella in an internal memo to Microsoft employees. "It is an incredible honor for me to lead and serve this great company of ours." In the broad letter, Nadella outlines why he’s at Microsoft, and his 22 year history at the company. "While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more," he notes. "This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft. Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places — as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world."