The appointment of a new Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO has been an exercise in patience. But the man who has been placed at the helm of the company is there to move the tech giant deeper and deeper into the Cloud.
Satya Nadella, whose previous position was Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s head of Cloud and Enterprise, has been brought in to guide Microsoft’s cloud computing strategy moving forward. It’s no secret that cloud computing threatens Microsoft’s core business mode, which revolves around the Windows operating system. Thus, the corporation has been forced to react to this new reality and evolve, and Nadella was considered to have the hands-on experience to drive this change.
Nadella gets Microsoft’s founder approval
Nadella has already received the approval of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has stated publicly that there is “no better person to lead Microsoft”. A ringing endorsement indeed, and Gates certainly played an instrumental role in the selection process, even if he is taking more of a backseat in management nowadays.
Interestingly though, although Gates has reduced his time working with the company which made him his fortune, the mega-billionaire will be more centrally involved in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in the immediate future. Gates has taken on the role of technology advisor to Nadella, and for now he will take a more hands-on role in the company he founded nearly forty years ago. Gates made it clear in a video statement that he would be “substantially increasing the time” that he spends at the company, and will work directly with product development teams. It seems clear that Gates wishes to be more involved in this key transition for his brainchild.
The appointment of a native of India is indicative of the coming significance of the ‘emerging economies’, as exemplified by the BRIC nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Nadella’s opening comments
Certainly in his early statements regarding the role, Nadella has been extremely keen to emphasize that he recognizes his role to be one in which he makes a major contribution to the evolution of . His opening comments were all focused on the future, and on how Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) must “continue to transform” and do so quickly. As always in the tech sector there was also an emphasis on innovation.
Nadella has obviously impressed the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) hierarchy simply because this appointment has taken so long to finalize. The Indian also certainly ticks many boxes in terms of knowledge and the background that the company was seeking. However, many observers and analysts have questioned Nadella’s experience.
Not only does Nadella have no experience of running a company the size of Microsoft, he has no experience running any sort of company at all. Nadella certainly has the technical and academic knowledge, having earned an MS in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He joined Microsoft over twenty years ago, having previously worked for Sun Microsystems for a short period.
That said, people with the experience of running a company such as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) don’t exactly grow on trees. Additionally, the position necessitates a particularly rarefied level of technical knowledge which many highly experienced CEOs simply do not possess.
But despite the fact that Nadella clearly possesses these qualities, appointing him to such a lofty position given his total lack of business experience at this level represents something of a gamble. Of course, he will receive a great deal of advice from gates and others, but the appointment really does underline a determination within Microsoft to be at the center of the Cloud when it really takes off.
Nadella is the third Microsoft CEO
Nadella is only the third CEO in Microsoft’s history. Stability has been part of the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) success story, and there;s no doubt that this also played a part in the lengthy selection process. The last thing the company wants is someone jumping ship after just a few months. The jury is still out on this new appointment at the moment, but the reasons behind it are crystal clear.