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Nadella to replace Ballmer as Microsoft head and Bill Gates could walk away

Reports have emerged suggesting that Steve Ballmer's replacement at Microsoft will be revealed within a week.

According to Bloomberg, senior Microsoft executive Satya Nadella, who runs the Redmond-based company's enterprise and cloud division, is the man who will take up the mantle as the next CEO.

Many individuals have been linked with the role since Ballmer announced his retirement "within the next 12 months" last summer, including Ford CEO Alan Mulally and former Skype chief Tony Bates. However, Nadella is now looking odds-on to take the job.

Microsoft has floundered in recent years, struggling against the rise of Google and Apple and the collapse of the PC market, which is why Ballmer took the decision to end over 10 years in charge.

The tech giant has announced plans to transform itself into a devices and services company, a tactic reiterated by the purchase of Nokia's mobile phone unit in September.

"There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," wrote Ballmer in an internal email to Microsoft employees back in August 2013.

"My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction."

Furthermore, it has been alleged that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates - once again the world's richest person - might have to bring an end to his spell as the company's chairman.

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