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Microsoft has drafted R&D chief Satya Nadella to take over from Doug Burgham as head of the company's growing Business Solutions unit

Nadella led global development for Microsoft's Dynamics family, which includes enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992.

Nadella takes over leadership of MBS during a year when Microsoft has promised break-even for the division and said its CRM would break the $1bn barrier.

News of the appointment came in the week SAP, the world's largest provider of business applications, laid out its vision and roadmap for ERP and CRM at its annual TechEd conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

MBS vice president Doug Burgum announced he was stepping down last year, since which time Microsoft has since been conducting the search for a leader. Burgum, who joined in 2001 as chief executive of the acquired Great Plains Software, is leaving Microsoft.

The focus on someone with a strong technology background is significant, as Microsoft wants to integrate MBS applications' functionality and workflows with new versions of Office. Last year, Microsoft folded MBS into the newly created business division with Office under former Information Worker group vice president Jeff Raikes.®

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