Microsoft's hipster CEO and the execs who love him (videos)

A slick package of clips introduces Satya Nadella -- the new hoodie-wearing, hipster-spectacled face of Microsoft -- to the world.

Satya Nadella wearing a hoodie
Microsoft said Satya Nadella would be its third chief executive Tuesday, succeeding Steve Ballmer. Microsoft

Want to take a stroll through misty Redwood, Wash., with the new head of Microsoft?

That premise sounds a little romantic, and in a way, Microsoft is trying to woo us with its new hoodie-wearing, hipster-glasses CEO in a package of videos meant to introduce Satya Nadella to the wider world and set the tone for his regime. (Though the incoming Microsoft CEO says right up front: He's taken.)

Microsoft named Nadella as Chief Executive Steve Ballmer's successor Tuesday, another insider to become only the third CEO of the company founded when Nadella just started grade school.

In a misty, relaxed walk-and-talk interview (think Aaron Sorkin's "The West Wing" with less bustle), Nadella makes his first impression by noting two of the biggest relationships of his life: his career at Microsoft and his marriage to his high-school sweetheart. Both have lasted 22 years so far.

He characterizes himself by his passion for learning and explains how that personality will shape his plans for the company. It's a strange choice for him to define himself by his difficulty finishing things ("I buy more books than I can read or finish, I sign up for more online courses than I can actually finish") but he says his first focus will be to ruthlessly remove anything standing in the way of innovation.

The interview is essentially conducted in one long take, without a prompter or any cuts to manicure the message. Still, it's a little eery that the offices are completely devoid of human life save for Nadella and his interviewer.

In their videos, founder Bill Gates and current CEO Ballmer both say they're excited about Nadella.

Gates, who is becoming a "technology advisor" in the leadership shift, talked about the importance of innovation, cloud computing and mobile for the company going forward. He'll be working more closely with Microsoft product groups in his new role, spending about a third of his time with them, he said. "I'm thrilled that Satya has asked me to step up, substantially increasing the time I spend at the company," Gates said.

Ballmer is "so excited" too, he said in his video, which he uses as a love letter to Microsoft. I don't know about you, but I'll miss the distinctive Ballmer diction.

Chairman John Thompson is much more sober.

Nadella oversaw one of Microsoft's fastest-growing divisions, the Cloud and Enterprise Group. He's credited with helping to make the company's server and tools group leaner and faster to innovate, as well leading a shift to the cloud and software-as-a-service.

As CEO, Nadella will need to chart a course for Microsoft in a world that is moving past the PC. At least he seems to know how to get around headquarters just fine.

Read more on ZDNet: Steve Ballmer, the exit interview
 

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