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Feb 9 2011   6:52PM GMT

Microsoft server & tools group gets Nadella as chief

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Microsoft named Satya Nadella to head its Server & Tools group earlier today. Nadella will step in for departing S&T president Bob Muglia.

Muglia, a long-time and respected Microsoft veteran is leaving this summer, apparently after a skirmish over strategy with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

According to the MIcrosoft Web site:

“Nadella and his team are tasked with leading Microsoft’s enterprise transformation into the cloud and providing the technology roadmap and vision for the future of business computing, while helping our customers and partners make the transition to the cloud platform by providing the necessary solutions, services and tools.”

This is s crucial role. The leader of this group has to navigate the tricky shoals between the new cloud computing model that Microsoft hopes to capitalize on with Azure without overly eroding its very profitable on-premises software business with products like Windows Server 2007. 

Nadella headed up the Microsoft Business Solutions ERP and CRM business for about five minutes after the departure of Doug Burgum, but was quickly whisked away to run Internet search, an area where Microsoft   was desperately playing catch up to Google. Interestingly, Nadella’s name was in the headlines recently with reports that MIcrosoft used data collected on users’ Google searches via its MSN and Windows Live toolbars to improve its own searches.

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