After days of speculation and perhaps some nail-biting by the candidates, Microsoft (MSFT) has officially named Satya Nadella its next chief executive officer, succeeding Steve Ballmer.

Nadella, only the third CEO in Microsoft’s history, was tapped for his leadership skills and his ability thus far to push Microsoft further into the cloud and services realms. He joined Microsoft in 1992 and worked in various groups including Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business—which, under his supervision, "outperformed the market and took share from competitors," according to the company. His most recent job title was executive vice president of the company’s Cloud and Enterprise group.

“Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together,” said Microsoft founder Bill Gates in a prepared statement. “His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth.”

In addition to Nadella’s promotion, the Board of Directors also named former Symantec CEO John Thompson chairman, replacing Gates, who will assume the role of founder and technology advisor. Reports indicated Thompson was not interested in becoming chairman; what changed his mind remains to be seen.

No doubt the next few months will be one of constant movement at Microsoft as Nadella puts his stamp on the transforming company. Whether that means an even greater emphasis on cloud services or a change in the way Microsoft compensates its channel partners for cloud sales right now is anyone’s guess. Stay tuned.