Microsoft said Tuesday that founder Bill Gates was stepping down as chairman to become a technology adviser to the tech giant as Indian-born Satya Nadella was named chief executive officer.
Gates "will devote more time to the company" in his new role on the board with the board as "founder and technology advisor," a company statement said.
Indian-born Nadella, who becomes the third CEO at Microsoft, has been executive vice president of its Cloud and Enterprise group.
"During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella," said Gates in the company statement.
"Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth."
John Thompson, lead independent director, will assume the job of chairman at Microsoft, which has been losing ground in the tech world amid a shift away from the traditional PC to mobile devices.
Nadella, who takes over from the retiring Steve Ballmer, said, "Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionized the world through technology, and I couldn't be more honored to have been chosen to lead the company."
He added, "The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform. A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly."
Nadella heads the team that runs the public, private and service provider clouds for Microsoft. Previously, Nadella was president of Microsoft's $19 billion server and tools business.
He is a native of Hyderabad, India and earned degrees from Mangalore University, the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and the University of Chicago.