Satya Nadella, Microsoft's current head of cloud computing, is set to be named the company's next CEO in succession to Steve Ballmer.
According to reports, Nadella has emerged as the front-runner after rivals, such as Ford CEO Alan Mulally dropped out, and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was rejected.
The reports suggest that Nadella's appointment has been finalised by the Microsoft board and that a formal announcement will be made "within the week". Nadella was among a shortlist of three insiders for the job, but widely regarded as the strongest candidate.
Officially the president of the server & tools business at Microsoft, he has held his current position since 2011, before which he was senior vice-president of R&D for the online services division and vice-president of the Microsoft business division.
As head of the server and tools business, he has been responsible for shifting tools and services into the cloud and, in particular, for developing Microsoft's Azure cloud services business.
Nadella was born in Hyderabad and completed a Bachelors degree in engineering in electronics and communication from the Manipal University, before heading to the US to acquire a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
He joined Microsoft in 1992 after working at Sun Microsystems and will become only the third CEO of the 38-year-old company.