The company also said Bill Gates would step aside as chairman of the board but would remain a technology advisor to the company. John Thompson, who has been the lead independent director, will become chairman.
Nadella's appointment ends 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.
The company took to Twitter to introduce its choice as CEO to the world."
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