Microsoft-Changes at the Top

You have probably seen announcements of the recent changes at Microsoft.  There’s been lots of speculation since Steve Balmer announced his retirement last year.  The Microsoft BoD has certainly done their due diligence during that time, interviewing both internal and external candidates.  They even interviewed Alan Mulally, the highly successful CEO of Ford Motor Company.  However, the Board chose a 22 year veteran of the Microsoft organization to take over the reins.

This transition of power at the top has only happened one other time at Microsoft, so let’s take a look at the man deemed worthy to take over.

The Basics:

Satya Nadella is 46 years old, born in India, married for 22 years with three children.  Of course, he is well educated with bachelors in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, masters in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Hobbies: reading, poetry, cricket, online courses.  (Between Microsoft and three kids, I bet there’s not much time for cricket.)

But, here is where I think it gets really interesting…….

The Career:

After a stint at Sun Micro, Satya joined Microsoft in 1992 to help build Windows NT, in 2001 he took over responsibility for Microsoft Business Solutions’ R&D unit, and in 2006 was promoted to leader of that division until 2008 when he was named Sr. VP of search.  Then in 2011 he was named president of Msft’s server and tools business, where in the time he spent leading the group he helped grow that Office, Server and Tools business to $20 Billion in annual sales (about 25% of the company’s total revenue).  So, out of the 22 successful years at Microsoft he’s spent 19 years with products and offerings aimed at enterprise customers.

So, it’s clear with its choice for CEO that Microsoft plans to continue being the preeminent technology provider to the enterprise.  We can verify that commitment to the enterprise with a recent statement that Mr. Nadella made:

He is quoted in Feb. 5th edition of the San Jose Mercury News as saying: “We need to be able to pick the unique contribution that we want to make.  That’s where our heritage of having been the productivity company ….. is what we want to get focused on.”

In Conclusion:

After reviewing Satya’s background and experience, I think it is safe to say that those of us who are committed to building solutions based on the Microsoft technology stack can rest easy knowing that Mr. Nadella has roots firmly grounded in the enterprise.   Microsoft plans to continue being the preeminent provider of technology solutions to governments and corporations around the world!

I’d love to hear your thoughts!