Satya Nadella officially confirmed as new Microsoft CEO

The cloak has been well and truly pulled: it's officially confirmed that Satya Nadella will step into the shoes of Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's next Chief Executive.

It means that the heavily debated role of CEO has now, after months of rumour and intrigue, been filled internally. Nadella currently holds the position of Microsoft's head of Cloud and Enterprise, charged with building the electronic behemoth's computing platforms and developer tools.

Bloomberg first guessed the news earlier this week, tipping Nadella for the role just days before the announcement was officially made. It was certainly an unexpected announcement to some; the proverbial dark horse of the recruitment race, Nadella keeps well out of the spotlight with a virtually inactive Twitter account and a consuming, nose-to-the-grindstone role in the company.

Indeed, Nadella didn't stand out early on as a contender when Ballmer's resignation was announced in late August last year. However Microsoft bosses clearly saw something in him and chose the enigmatic VP out of nearly 100 possible candidates.

Microsoft also announced that Bill Gates will step down as chairman of the company, instead taking up the mantle of technology adviser. Microsoft's lead independent director John Thompson, meanwhile, will take over the role in Gates's place.