February 4, 2014 / 2:10 PM / 3 years ago

Microsoft names Nadella as next CEO, Thompson chairman

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SEATTLE, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp named Satya Nadella as its next chief executive officer on Tuesday, ending a longer-than-expected search for a new leader after Steve Ballmer announced his intention to retire in August.

Nadella is only the third CEO in Microsoft's 39-year history, following co-founder Bill Gates and Ballmer.

Microsoft also announced that John Thompson, lead independent director, will succeed Gates as chairman. Gates will assume a new role as "technology advisor," the company said in a statement.

Shares of the world's largest software maker edged higher in premarket trading.

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