Microsoft shook things up in a big way today, naming a new CEO and announcing that Bill Gates is out as company chairman. The new CEO will be Satya Nadella, the executive currently in charge of the company's small but growing business of delivering software services over the Internet. The appointment "will be considered a safe choice," according to the Wall Street Journal, though "little in Mr. Nadella's public history at Microsoft suggests he will break from the company's pattern as a fast follower, rather than a trend setter." The 46-year-old will be only the third CEO in Microsoft's history.
The first, of course, was Gates, who will take on a new role as a technology adviser. Gates will remain on the board, and according to the company he'll actually be devoting more time to Microsoft now than he was as chairman; sources tell the Journal that Nadella hopes to lean on the company's founder. John Thomson will take over as chairman.