The rumour has turned into reality and Satya Nadella is Microsoft's new CEO. What next?
What does it take to get Microsoft back on target?
It all depends what you think the target is.
Where Satya Nadella will take Microsoft is difficult to say and his e-mail to employees gives little clue.
What is important is that he seems to be a technologist. Born in Hyderabad India he graduated in Electrical and Electronic engineering. After moving to the US he earned an MS in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He gained an MBA from the University of Chicago while taking up his first appointment at Microsoft as part of the Windows NT team.
His most recent challenge was building Azure into something more than a way of running ASP-based websites. His term at Microsoft has seen him work in a range of areas. Wikipedia lists:
- Executive VP for the cloud and enterprise group
- President of the server and tools business
- Senior VP of R&D for the online services division
- VP of the business division; senior VP of search, portal and advertising platform group
- VP of development for the business solutions group
- GM of consumer and commerce.
He still seems to be a techie and you can gain some insight from recent quotes:
"I love to learn. I get excited about new things. I buy more books than I read or finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can actually finish."
“just crazy ambitions in the 15 minutes I have in the morning. You know, I'm trying to listen to a neuroscience class or something. I kind of ask myself, why are you doing it? But I love it.”
“I’m a learner,” Nadella says. “I think the thing that I realized is, what excites me is that I'm learning something. I can learn something about some area. I can learn something from people. I can learn something from doing things differently. And I admire that in other people, too. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things … you stop doing great and useful things. So family, curiosity and hunger for knowledge all define me.”
Perhaps the most important quote of all is:
"It's a mobile first, cloud first world."
a message included in his first interview as Microsoft CEO:
This interview is interesting, but if you want to discover how much of a techie Satya is watch his interview at the Accel Partners Symposium in 2013:
The other big news is that Bill Gates has stepped down as chairman and taken on the role of "technology adviser" to Nadella.
In a video welcoming Nadella, Gates says:
"Satya's asked me to step up, substantially increasing the time that I spend at the company. I'll have over a third of my time available to meet with product groups. It'll be fun to define this next round of products, working together."
What is interesting here is that after claiming that he would not be giving more time to Microsoft because of his commitments to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
This isn't exactly getting Bill Gates back at the technological helm of Microsoft - but it might actually be a whole lot better.
Could this be the dream team Microsoft needs?