“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

Hyderabad native Satya Nadella (46) is the new CEO of Internet giant Microsoft, the company announced on Tuesday.

“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder and Chairman of the Board, adding, “Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together.”

After a selection period that saw numerous outside candidates drop off, the Microsoft Board signalled its intention to focus on innovation by selecting the man credited with developing the company's cloud computing and Bing search engine businesses.

In his email to Microsoft employees on his first day as CEO Mr. Nadella said, “Today is a very humbling day for me. It reminds me of my very first day at Microsoft, 22 years ago… I saw then how clearly we empower people to do magical things with our creations and ultimately make the world a better place.”

While some have argued that Microsoft was slow to respond to the shift towards cloud computing, conceding a lead to others such as Google and Amazon, Mr. Nadella underscored his intention to reverse this saying, “Our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation.”

Mr. Nadella who holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Manipal University, a master’s in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, and an MBA from the University of Chicago, joined Microsoft in 1992.

His long career as a Microsoft insider saw him promoted to numerous high-level positions before he was appointed Executive Vice President (VP) for the cloud and enterprise group in 2012.

He is married and has three children.