Kara Swisher

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Bing Overlord Satya Nadella Promoted to President of Server and Tools at Microsoft

Satya Nadella (pictured here), the Microsoft exec who has been in charge of its Bing search effort, has been promoted to president of its Server and Tools Business.

He replaces Bob Muglia, a longtime exec who was ousted recently in CEO Steve Ballmer’s effort to shake things up at the company and stress the company’s technical expertise.

A 19-year Microsoft veteran, Nadella has most recently led the engineering efforts as an SVP in the Online Services Division, which includes Bing, the MSN portal and online advertising efforts.

“Nadella brings deep engineering and online services knowledge to $15 billion business,” said a Microsoft press release just issued.

In related news, Amitabh Srivastava, the SVP in the Server and Cloud Division who runs its Windows Azure cloud and Windows Server efforts, will leave the company. He was considered a leading internal candidate for the top job in the Server and Tools Business that Nadella got.

Both internal and external execs were eyed for the job, but it’s likely Nadella got it because of his early career in the server arena at Microsoft, as well as his experience running one of the biggest and most complex cloud efforts on the Web at Bing.

Indeed, though his efforts were costly and perhaps even futile, Nadella has had some success in innovating search for Microsoft with Bing, including delivering a well-regarded and quickly evolving product and improving market share.

He also was key in striking Microsoft’s advertising and search partnership with Yahoo.

He will have his hands full running the Server and Tools Business, which is critical to the company’s future and its cloud computing aspirations.

Microsoft said Nadella will be in charge of strategy, engineering, marketing and product development for Microsoft’s server, tools and cloud platform efforts.

“This includes developing the technology road map and vision to drive adoption of the company’s products, tools and services, and delivering the company’s next generation of cloud solutions for business customers,” Microsoft said.

Delivering such cloudtastic results will be a tall order, of course.

According to a recent post by New Enterprise’s Arik Hesseldahl:

“The Server and Tools Business is at $14.9 billion in annual revenue (fiscal 2010) Microsoft’s third largest division behind the Windows/Windows Live Division and and the Microsoft Business Division, both of which reported revenues north of $18 billion in 2010. On Muglia’s watch sales at STB grew more than 12 percent, and its operating margins went from 31 percent in 2008 to 37 percent in 2010. However, STB is nowhere near as profitable as the other two divisions: Business Division reported operating margins of 63 percent in 2010 while Windows saw 70 percent. Ballmer says in his memo that he’s eager to see stronger growth from STB.”

Here is the official press release, but more to come:

Microsoft Appoints Satya Nadella as President of Server and Tools Business

Nadella brings deep engineering and online services knowledge to $15 billion business.

REDMOND, Wash.–Feb. 9, 2011–Microsoft Corp. today promoted Senior Vice President Satya Nadella to president of Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business.

“We’re already making strong traction across our Server and Tools Business by embracing cloud services,” said Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer. “Satya has deep experience in both our server business and online services, which will help accelerate our momentum while setting the course to deliver the cloud computing scenarios of the future.”

As president of the Server and Tools Business, Nadella will oversee the overall strategy, engineering, marketing and product development for Microsoft’s server, tools and cloud platform efforts. This includes developing the technology road map and vision to drive adoption of the company’s products, tools and services, and delivering the company’s next generation of cloud solutions for business customers.

“Our server and tools business is one of the fastest growing and most profitable businesses at Microsoft,” Nadella said. “I see great opportunity for Microsoft to grow the business and also lead the way in the transformation of enterprise IT. I’m excited to work with such a high-caliber team to chart the path for our continued success today and growth in the future.”

Nadella, 43, has been with the company for 19 years and most recently led the engineering efforts in the Online Services Division, which includes overseeing the technical strategy for one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world, spanning the company’s Search, Portal and Advertising platforms.

Nadella joined the Online Services Division in April 2007, and was instrumental in leading the technical efforts for several critical milestones such as the launch of Bing, new releases of MSN, and the integration of Yahoo! across Bing and adCenter. Under his leadership, the Online Services Division has also built a strong engineering organization by attracting some of the most experienced technical minds from within Microsoft and across the industry.

Before joining the Online Services Division, Nadella led Microsoft Business Solutions, which focuses on the Microsoft Dynamics line of enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management products, and spent several years leading engineering efforts in Microsoft’s Server Group.

As announced in January 2011, Bob Muglia, previously president of the Server and Tools Business, will leave the company this summer. Muglia will work with Nadella as he transitions to his new role leading the Server and Tools Business.


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