Light Reading

Nadella Promotion Ends Microsoft CEO Search

Sarah Thomas
2/4/2014
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Microsoft's five-month CEO search has come to an end, as the company announced Tuesday it is promoting current cloud and enterprise lead Satya Nadella to the top slot.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) has been looking for a new CEO since Steve Ballmer announced he was resigning back in August. It hasn't been an easy search, with candidates such as Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) CEO Hans Vestberg, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, and former Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) CEO Stephen Elop all being rumored as successors along the way. (See Ballmer Bails on Microsoft, Ericsson CEO Snubs Microsoft Top Job Too?, Will Elop Return Without the Crown?, and Report: Ericsson CEO on Shortlist for Microsoft Top Job.)

Nadella has been with Microsoft for more than 20 years, most recently serving as executive vice president of its Cloud and Enterprise Group. The bulk of his experience is in software, but his biggest challenge will now be to help Microsoft regain its relevancy in the mobile market, where its Windows Phone operating system has struggled to compete against Android and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL).

Microsoft also said on Tuesday that founder and current Chairman of the Board Bill Gates will take on a technology advisory role that will see him get more involved in the company again. John Thompson, lead independent director of the board, will take on the chairman role.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/27/2014 | 5:16:18 AM
Re : Nadella Promotion Ends Microsoft CEO Search
@FakeMitchWagner: True, Bill should be free and take a vacation for a while and trust Nadella's instincts. Things have already gone downhill for a couple of years for Microsoft, now it can only go up. The directions Nadella will take will make the company have much success during his tenure. He is a very resourceful man, and doesn't make abrupt decisions. Just like any other marketing expert, he likes to study his cases and find out new directions for profit.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/27/2014 | 5:13:41 AM
Re : Nadella Promotion Ends Microsoft CEO Search
Nadella has been a powerful worker for Microsoft for two decades and is still going strong. I believe he will take Microsoft to new directions, hopefully sign in a better OS than the Windows 8.1 series, and would cover a lot of ground through e-commerce, given his success record.
Kruz
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Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/5/2014 | 3:17:18 AM
Re: Nadella appointment
haha. That's mean :p

Let me remind you of his enthusiasm :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8M6S8EKbnU

 
Mitch Wagner
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Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/4/2014 | 7:14:03 PM
Re: Nadella appointment
Elop was an insane choice. He took a failing company and got it in shape to sell. That's honorable work -- it was a step along the path for Eric Schmidt -- but it's not the skill set Microsoft needs. 
Mitch Wagner
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Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/4/2014 | 7:12:31 PM
Re: Reactions?
Harrison Ford wasn't the first choice to play Indiana Jones. That worked out. 
Mitch Wagner
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Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/4/2014 | 7:11:59 PM
Re: Reactions?
He's got a good background. Cloud and the enterprise are foundational to Microsoft's future. He's got the technical chops to stand up to Gates. Ballmer was no technologist, and it shows in Microsoft's lack of direction over the past few years. 

It's important that Gates is taking a step back. No CEO wants to try to run a company with the founder looking over his shoulder. 
SarahReedy
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SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/4/2014 | 3:27:08 PM
Re: Nadella appointment
Good point on Bill Gates being back in action, Kruz. Maybe they should also keep Ballmer around just to keep up the energy and enthusiasm and offset Nadella's boringness as he gets things done? :)
Kruz
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Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/4/2014 | 3:22:23 PM
Re: Nadella appointment
While it's true the guy has no previous records, I still see him as a good candidate for running the company. He has rich technical and business backgrounds and he will be leaning on Gates while running msft. I believe he brings a feeling of stability and continuity to current employees.
SarahReedy
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SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/4/2014 | 2:56:09 PM
Re: Nadella appointment
Agreed, Ritch. I think a lot of people would be unhappy if Elop was selected. Maybe no track record is better than a bad one?
RitchBlasi
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RitchBlasi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/4/2014 | 2:52:00 PM
Nadella appointment
I head of Nadella back in the days when I worked at a major carrier - our business teams worked closely together and had a good relationship.  But that was on a high level.

Feelings are mixed.  On one hand, bringing someone up through the ranks is a good thing if you are going to focus on the same things the same way.  Small changes won't make big differences.  Think you saw that with Ballmer.  There needs to be a fundamental shift in the company's direction - holding onto the old for the cash cow but investing heavily in an area where Microsoft failed a few times...mobility.

That's where Nadella needs to make some radical moves, not having "real" experience and knowledge can cause problems.  In making changes, it would be good to bring in that experience and knowledge from people who have the same number of years in the mobile industry.  It should be easier to coax some of those folks into MS to set the tone for moving into mobile without the focus of needing a CEO with that experience.

And hey, it's better than bring back someone who caused one of those mobile mistakes and drove a device giant into the ground....right?

 
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