Satya Nadella, 19-year Company Veteran, to Head Microsoft Server and Tools Business.

Muglia replacement seen as prod to cloud services business. New division president commands the strong engineering background chief exec Ballmer sought for position. Also, key senior exec for Windows Azure will depart company.

February 10, 2011

D.H. Kass

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Satya Nadella, a 19-year Microsoft Corp. veteran commanding what Steve Ballmer, the company’s chief executive called “deep experience in both our server business and online services,” is the choice to head its $15 billion Server and Tools Business, taking the post Bob Muglia, the unit’s outgoing president, will leave behind this summer.

Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business handles the vendor’s Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, System Center and Windows Azure products and platforms.

Nadella is tasked with overseeing the unit’s strategy, technical vision, operations, engineering and marketing, and constructing a technology roadmap that leads the vendor deeper into building cloud computing solutions for business customers.

In an email to employees on Nadella’s ascension, Ballmer made it clear that a strong engineering foundation was a baseline for the job.

”We wanted someone with the right mix of leadership, vision and hard-core engineering chops,” Ballmer wrote. “We wanted someone who could define the future of business computing and further expand our ability to bring the cloud to business customers and developers in game-changing ways,” he said.

“Satya was the clear choice given we were looking for a person with a deep understanding of and vision for the rapidly merging worlds of servers and services, as well as experience in managing cloud infrastructure and services at scale,” Ballmer said.

Nadella a 19-year company veteran

Nadella has been with Microsoft for nearly two decades, most recently heading the vendor’s engineering in its Online Services unit, including supervising the technical strategy for its cloud infrastructure.

His experience at Microsoft includes leading the technical efforts on Bing, new releases of MSN and the integration of Yahoo!, Bing and adCenter. He also has led Microsoft’s Business Solutions unit, handling the vendor’s line of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) products.

“Our server and tools business is one of the fastest growing and most profitable businesses at Microsoft,” he said.

“I see great opportunity for Microsoft to grow the business and also lead the way in the transformation of enterprise IT,” Nadella said.

Ballmer also praised Nadella for his leadership, management and organizational skills.

“Satya is also well-known for his leadership,” Ballmer said. “He has strong collaboration skills, is decisive in both decision-making and delegating, and has strong customer insights, engineering and business expertise,” he said. “He also knows how to structure organizations for outstanding performance.”

Ballmer said that Muglia will help Nadella transition into his new role.

“I want to thank Bob again for his extraordinary contributions to Microsoft and his insights and assistance in the months ahead,” he said.

Key Azure exec departs

In addition, Microsoft said that Amitabh Srivastava, senior vice president in the Server and Tools Business, with responsibility for Windows Azure and Windows Server, will leave the company. Srivastava has been with Microsoft since 1997.

“Windows Azure is in a great place, and Amitabh is ready to move to a new phase in his career,” said Ballmer. “He has done stellar work for the company and will work to ensure a smooth transition with the Windows Azure team,” he said.

TAGS: Microsoft,steve ballmer,Satya Nadella,Bob Muglia,Server and Tools

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