Microsoft Names New President For Its Server And Tools Business

Satya Nadella has been named the new president of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business and a key figure in the development of the company's Windows Azure cloud computing platform is stepping down.

The personnel shifts are the latest in an ongoing shakeup of the Server and Tools Business management that included STB president Bob Muglia being pushed aside last month.

The moves are widely seen as an effort by CEO Steve Ballmer to promote managers with engineering backgrounds to top positions in an effort to better compete against companies like Apple and Google who hold significant leads over Microsoft in such area as mobile computing and online search.

Ballmer announced the latest changes Wednesday in an e-mail to Microsoft employees.

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"We're already making strong traction across our Server and Tools Business by embracing cloud services," Ballmer wrote. Nadella "has deep experience in both our server business and online services, which will help accelerate our momentum while setting the course to deliver the cloud computing scenarios of the future."

Ballmer also disclosed that Amitabh Srivastava, senior vice president in the Server and Tools Business, is leaving Microsoft. "Windows Azure is in a great place and Amitabh is ready to move to a new phase in his career," Ballmer said in his e-mail. "He has done stellar work for the company and will work to ensure a smooth transition with the Windows Azure team."

Srivastava has been with Microsoft since 1997 and played a central role in developing the Windows Azure cloud computing platform that just reached its one-year anniversary Feb. 1.

Next: Company Touts Nadella's Engineering Expertise

Nadella, 43, has been with Microsoft for 19 years and most recently managed engineering efforts in the Online Services Division, including overseeing the cloud infrastructure that underpins the company's search, portal and advertising systems. He also helped launch Bing, Microsoft's online search engine, and helped integrate Bing and Microsoft's AdCenter with Yahoo.

In a statement, Microsoft said that under Nadella's leadership, "the Online Services Division has built a strong engineering organization by attracting some of the most experienced technical minds from within Microsoft and across the industry."

Ballmer, in his e-mail, extolled Nadella's leadership abilities and added: "He has strong collaboration skills, is decisive in both decision-making and delegating, and has strong customer insights, engineering and business expertise. He also knows how to structure organizations for outstanding performance."

Before joining Online Services Nadella worked within the Microsoft Business Solutions organization, which develops the Dynamics lines of ERP and CRM applications.

Nadella's appointment is effective immediately. Ballmer said Muglia would remain with Microsoft through the summer and help Nadella with the transition.

Microsoft has been hit with an exodus of executives in the last year -- some voluntary, some not. They include Office Division President Stephen Elop, CFO Chris Liddell, and Entertainment and Devices Division President Robbie Bach.