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Microsoft’s Gates, Nadella Opposed Nokia Deal [REPORT]

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) founder Bill Gates and new CEO Satya Nadella opposed the deal to purchase the Devices and Services business of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V), according to report from Bloomberg’s Businessweek.

Aside from Gates and Nadella, other executives and members of the board of directors of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) such as Tony Bates, EVP of business development and evangelism were also against the transaction.

Reason behind Ballmer’s early departure from Microsoft

The report indicated that the Nokia deal was the main reason that prompted former CEO Steve Ballmer’s early departure from his position.

According to Bloomberg, Ballmer’s relationship with the board of the software giant became ugly in June when he shouted that he can’t be CEO of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) if he can’t get his way. At the time, he was informed that the board did not support his proposal to buy two Nokia units (Devices & Services and Mapping). The board was debating whether Microsoft should also become a hardware company.

The board ended up approving the acquisition of the Devices and Services unit of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) for $7.2 billion, which shows that Ballmer got what he wanted, but directors of the board questioned his direction for the company.

People close to the board of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) told Bloomberg, ”Concerns over Microsoft’s direction had been mounting for months. For some directors, the question was whether Ballmer should still lead.”

Nadella changes position

According to Bloomberg, Nadella changed his position and supported Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) deal with Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V). In an e-mailed statement sent to the media company, Nadella said, “Nokia brings mobile-first depth across hardware, software, design, global supply chain expertise and deep understanding and connections across the mobile market. This is the right move for Microsoft.”

This week, Nadella announced some reorganization within the software giant. He appointed Mark Penn as strategy chief. He also reshuffled some executives in the company’s marketing department.

Nadella told the employees of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) that their goal as company, leadership team, and as individual is to “find our swing,” quoting from a book about the University of Washington rowing team that won the gold medal during the 1936 Olympic Games.

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