Satya Nadella, who is currently the executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, is tipped to be the software giant's next chief executive, putting an end to the search for Ballmer's replacement.
The board is, however, still planned to meet next week prior to making the final decision on the third leader in the software major's 39-year history, according to sources within the industry.
Microsoft had established a special committee of directors to find the stronger candidates, 'likely to go inside', to replace departing CEO Steve Ballmer, who revealed plans in August 2013 to step down from the job within 12 months.
The Indian-born computer science expert has been working at Microsoft for 22 years, running the consumer online services business, including Bing search engine, prior to moving across to the enterprise unit.
During the search, the committee has reportedly filtered several outsiders, including ex-HP boss Mark Hurd and Ericsson chief Hans Vestberg and Ford Motor chief executive Alan Mulally, before narrowing its search to internal candidates.
The latest management changes come in the midst a crucial shift as the software makes it move away from its roots to focus on hardware and Internet-based services from a software.
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