Channel Beat: Sataya Nadella Replaces Steve Ballmer As Microsoft CEO

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This is a piece of news the channel has been anticipating for months: Microsoft has named Satya Nadella as its new CEO. The 22-year Microsoft veteran, who was previously executive vice president of the company’s Cloud and Enterprise Engineering Group, will replace Steve Ballmer.

The new CEO's focus will likely be on product strategy and development, but Microsoft partners are hoping he will improve channel relationships. Microsoft recently slashed the fees partners receive from the Microsoft Online Services Advisor Incentives Program, which will most likely hurt partner margins.

The fee cuts, which went into effect Jan. 25, were set to reward partners that steered customers to purchase Office 365 and other cloud service subscriptions as part of EA volume licensing contracts. In return, partners got a one-time payment based on the full-year value of each seat when the customer deploys the services.

Solution providers told CRN that Nadella's biggest challenge will be addressing a channel that is disengaged from the Microsoft's cloud computing strategy.

In addition to the CEO news, Microsoft also announced that Bill Gates will take on a new role on the company board as Founder and Technology Adviser.

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