Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise for Microsoft Satya Nadella could be named as the new Chief Executive after a five-month search.
A new CEO will be expected to help Microsoft navigate its changing position in the IT world.
The news comes as Microsoft appears to be at an important turning point as it moves away from its long reliance on Windows and towards developing hardware such as its Surface tablets and Internet based services.
Since the company’s founding in 1975, only two men have held the CEO role – Bill Gates (1975-2000) and for now, Steve Ballmer (2000 to present).
Current CEO Ballmer announced his retirement in August last year. His intention was to retire within twelve months, but only after the completion of the process to choose his successor.
Nadella, a relatively unknown candidate outside of the IT giant, joined Microsoft from Sun Microsystems in 1992 and has held leadership roles inside the company since in cloud services, server software, Internet search and business applications.
Press reports also suggest that Gates will be stepping down as Chairman and board member and leader of the CEO hunt, John Thompson, will be taking on the role.
If Gates were to leave the Chairman role, he would still be involved with the firm, according to US press reports.
Sources quoted in these reports suggest that the plans are not final.