Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
Current role: EVP, cloud and enterprise group, Microsoft

If loyalty counts, Nadella is a front-runner. He joined Microsoft more than 20 years ago and currently is head of the company's cloud computing, data center, and enterprise division. It's a highly profitable but largely invisible area that Microsoft is counting on for future growth. Combine that with the fact that he's well-known inside the company, and he may be a serious contender.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated August 27 2013 08:54 AM ET
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