Satya Nadella: why Microsoft chose an engineer, not a suit

Opting for scientists and engineers is a growing trend in the world of tech, says David Henderson

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(Image credit: 2011 Getty Images)

FACED with uncertain times, Microsoft has named Satya Nadella as its new CEO. His appointment follows months of speculation over who would replace longstanding leader Steve Ballmer, who retired last year. What is perhaps most striking about the choice to promote Nadella is that Microsoft has decided to opt for a CEO with a background in engineering, as opposed to a traditional management background.

As Nadella settles in, all eyes will be on him to see if an individual with a more technically-oriented background will do a better job of calming internal and shareholder nerves than his predecessor. Microsoft is by no means a struggling business, but it is in a period of market transition and uncertainty is a natural part of any such process. The tech giant is seeking to shift away from its almost total reliance on licensing as an income towards selling more devices.

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