For months now, the world has been waiting for Microsoft to select a new CEO. The wait is almost over, but it could come with a price.
The company is close to naming Satya Nadella as their next CEO, replacing Steve Ballmer and his almost decade long tenure after taking over for Microsoft's co-founder and former CEO, Bill Gates. Gates has remained chairman of the company since 1981, but that could be set to change. Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft's board members are looking to replace Gates, saying that the company's next CEO might feel constricted being under his watchful presence. The board members want a brand new body, not just some new blood.
Gates has limited his responsibilities with Microsoft for the last few years, instead focusing his attention on malaria and other causes though the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Though it might sound like blasphemy for a healthy and relatively young Gates to not have the coveted position of chairman, to Microsoft, at least, having a chairman who is fully committed to the company will be of better use to them. Gates, for what it's worth, may feel the same way—but it doesn't mean he won't still be associated with the company in some shape or form. Bloomberg also reports that Gates may be more involved in the company while in another role, possibly one that doesn't even exist just yet. Gates' philanthropic efforts are his primary concern, having told Bloomberg Television that he was ready to do charitable work for the rest of his life, and would be ready to contribute to Microsoft part-time as a board member.
Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992, and is currently the president of its cloud service. He bumped up the company's revenue from $16.6 billion to $20.3 billion in just two years.
Since Gates could potentially be out as chairman, that leaves a seat to be filled. One candidate to take over as chairman is John Thompson, Microsoft's lead independent director, who originally worked for IBM before joining the company in 1999.
Microsoft has yet to confirm any of this, and it could be weeks before they're prepared to name their replacements.