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Satya Nadella named new Microsoft chief executive

Microsoft has made major changes in its senior management structure, with Satya Nadella becoming the new chief executive of the company.

Mr Nadella will be replacing Steve Ballmer, who is vacating his post, while co-founder Bill Gates is stepping down from his role as chairman to be replaced by John Thompson.

The new chief executive, Nadella, who has been with the company for 20 years, is only the third person to take up the role in the firm's history.

In recent years he has been responsible for Microsoft's cloud computing services, which has become one of the fastest growing divisions within the company.

Under Mr Nadella's leadership, the division saw the revenue from its commercial cloud services grow by 107 per cent.

In an email to employees he revealed that the early Microsoft mission concerned getting a PC on every desk and home, but that today the business is focused on the creation of a broader range of devices.

Mr Gates described the new chief executive as "a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together", while Mr Nadella's predecessor Mr Ballmer said he is "the right leader at the right time for Microsoft".

In his email to Microsoft employees, Mr Nadella said he would be prioritising innovation and striving for cultural change within the company.

By Gary Cooper