Citing people briefed on the process, Bloomberg reports the software maker's board is also discussing replacing Bill Gates as chairman. The board is considering Microsoft's lead independent director John Thompson as his replacement, according to the people, who said that Gates may still play an active role at Microsoft.
Microsoft declined to comment when contacted by TheStreet.
Last August Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced his plans to retire within 12 months, prompting speculation about his successor. In addition to Microsoft insider Nadella, other names that have been touted include former Apple (AAPL) iOS chief Scott Forstall, former Nokia (NOK) CEO Stephen Elop and current Microsoft executive and former head of Skype, Tony Bates.Nadella currently serves as executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise Group. Previously, the executive was president of the tech giant's Server and Tools business. He has also served as senior vice president of R&D for the company's Online Services Division and vice president of the Microsoft Business Division.
Prior to joining Microsoft in 1992, Nadella worked at Sun Microsystems. Microsoft shares, which closed up 0.55% during Thursday trading, gained 1.19% to $37.30 after market close. --Written by James Rogers in New York. Follow @jamesjrogers >Contact by Email.