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Microsoft Businesses

Satya Nadella Named Microsoft CEO 293

Posted by timothy
from the don't-blame-me-I-voted-for-kodos dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "As widely expected after last week's rumors, Satya Nadella has been named the new CEO of Microsoft. Nadella is Microsoft's third CEO, after co-founder Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. He's been with the company for more than twenty years, eventually becoming executive vice president of its Cloud and Enterprise division; Nadella and his team were responsible for the creation of 'Cloud OS,' the platform that powers Microsoft's large-scale cloud services such as SkyDrive, Azure, and Office 365. Under his guidance, Microsoft's revenue from cloud services has grown by several billion dollars over the past few years. In his email to employees, Nadella said that he was 'humbled' by his appointment, and that he had asked Bill Gates to act as a close adviser in the months and years ahead." He devoted much of the rest of the email "to explaining his philosophy of technology, and how that will ultimately influence his leadership. 'The opportunity ahead will require us to reimagine a lot of what we have done in the past for a mobile and cloud-first world, and do new things,' he added. 'We are the only ones who can harness the power of software and deliver it through devices and services that truly empower every individual and every organization.' A lot of tech companies would disagree the assertion that Microsoft is the 'only' company capable of merging hardware and software into forms that businesses and consumers find appealing, but Nadella must do his best to reassert his company's position as a technology leader. Nadella indicated near the end of his email that he would follow through on the 'One Microsoft' strategy formulated under Ballmer, which includes a massive reorganization currently underway." Reader rjmarvin notes that "Nadella will take over as CEO immediately, allowing Steve Ballmer to retire early," and reader SmartAboutThings says that "John Thompson, a lead independent director for the Board of Directors, will take over the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors that Gates held."
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Satya Nadella Named Microsoft CEO

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  • Office 365 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:07AM (#46149719)

    Well, after being responsible for Office 365, what could possibly go wrong?

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      They'll release another product that protects them from being "squeezed out" by Google's growing cloud computing services? Oh no, what a terrible business that would be. Better they keep putting out $500 Office suites that everyone has realised they don't need to own.

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        Better they keep putting out $500 Office suites that everyone has realised they don't need to own.

        Yeah, because renting them for $50 a month makes much more sense.

        • by Sockatume (732728)

          I'd rather not buy Office at all and use Google Docs, but I'm sure MS is happy to take $50 from me now and again when a project demands something more sophisticated. The alternative is that I stop giving them any money altogether, and while that'd be great for me, I doubt MS particularly wants to get behind that.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:09AM (#46149735) Homepage Journal

    that Steve Ballmer retiring now is not 'early'. About a decade late.

    • by EvilSS (557649)
      And you would not be wrong.
    • by BasilBrush (643681) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:25AM (#46149887)

      Will Satya Nadella support developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers though?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Will Satya Nadella support developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers though?

        or vagina.

    • by Anne_Nonymous (313852) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @11:08AM (#46150381) Homepage Journal

      He's not retiring; he has simply outsourced his chair-tossing to an Indian guy.

    • by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @11:20AM (#46150515)

      I disagree; I think Ballmer should have been retained as CEO indefinitely.

      If they really had to replace him, they should have picked whoever came up with the Microsoft Songsmith commercial.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by jkrise (535370)

      This is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. The summary itself says it: " he had asked Bill Gates to act as a close adviser in the months and years ahead."
      and
      he would follow through on the 'One Microsoft' strategy formulated under Ballmer,

      So put simply; he's gonna keep going down he same route as Ballmer; and Bill Gates will still run the company on a day to day basis.

      Microsoft will continue to sink; but Gates and Ballmer would suddenly become 'good corporate citizens' and a poor, powerless, benami

  • Doomed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by js3 (319268) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:09AM (#46149739)

    Hate Ballmer all you want but that dude knew how to make money.

    • by hodet (620484)

      just not for his shareholders.

      • by kthreadd (1558445)

        Which is the only thing a company should do.

        • Priority 1 - ensuring long-term economic security.
          Priority 2 - everything else.

          which is what the textbooks say, yet it's not what happens in reality. Hence the frequent economic slumps that Capitalist theory says shouldn't be periodic.

    • Re:Doomed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EvilSS (557649) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:22AM (#46149857)
      No doubt, but he didn't know how to innovate or even keep up with new technologies and markets. Microsoft has been floundering for the past decade, riding the momentum they built up in the 80's and 90's but never successfully adding to it. Their strategy lately is almost monkey throwing darts. Let's try this! No, this! No, that!

      At the same time they poisoned their own corporate environment and created a ton of churn in their lower ranks, bleeding young new talent to rivals and startups.
      • Re:Doomed (Score:5, Insightful)

        by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:42AM (#46150069)

        You are 100% bang on when you say " Let's try this! No, this! No, that! " -- Microsoft is running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

        It is because MS doen't have a freaking clue about *good* User Interface or User Experience. To understand UI you need to understand TWO things:

        1. S/N and
        2. Flow.

        Here is the perfect example of Microsoft being total fucktards: google: visual studio 2012 menu all caps

        https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]

        We use uppercase and lowercase in books to make it EASIER to read. Reading off a screen is already harder on the eyes why the hell would you make it even more so?!?! Oh, and let's get rid of those underlines so people can actually *see* and *learn* the hotkeys / keyboard accelerators. Let's dumb the UI down to full retard mode because how dare anyone suggest you can design a UI for novices and the power user!

        Microsoft will never understand that you need to take advantage of the strengths AND be aware of the weaknesses of the hardware to massage the Software + Hardware + User Experience. Microsoft has all the arrogance of Apple without understanding why Apple makes some of its changes. (Apple is by no means a saint, but they tend to have a more consistent User Experience.)

        > they poisoned their own corporate environment

        Yup! Stack Ranking has to be the dumbest move ever. As a company you want to motivate your employees; it is also import to not demotivate them.

        Again, MS is clueless.

      • Microsoft has been floundering for the past decade, riding the momentum they built up in the 80's and 90's but never successfully adding to it.

        And Microsoft's conception of "adding to it" is always "extend the Windows monopoly into new markets". Which is why they flushed $8 billion down the toilet trying to establish a console monopoly, and Sony just came back to own the segment this generation anyway so MSFT never will get its money back. And then Steam defected, so Microsoft is now in danger of losing control of the PC game franchise that it stupidly left to rot when it tried to dominate the console turf. Just Brilliant. The winners in this were

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Hate Ballmer all you want but that dude knew how to make money.

      I would rather state that Microsoft was profitable, despite Ballmer was at the helm.

    • Re:Doomed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:29AM (#46149931)
      The reason that he's leaving is that the shareholders surmise that MS made money despite Ballmer not because of him. MS has two main sources of revenue and profit: Windows and Office. These were the same when he took over. Even then Windows is starting to decline. Windows Vista was hated and so is Win 8. They still made money because OEMs really have no choice.
  • In other words ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:17AM (#46149817) Homepage

    The opportunity ahead will require us to reimagine a lot of what we have done in the past for a mobile and cloud-first world, and do new things

    In other words, Microsoft is going to proceed with a vision which may or may not be of interest to consumers, and once again tell us what we want instead of listening to us.

    So now the same idiot who was in charge of XBox being an always on-line nuisance is going to ram this philosophy through the rest of the product lines.

    They might find this to their detriment.

    • by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:28AM (#46149925)

      Cloud services is one of the few parts of MS that is both making money and growing. I'd say that's a pretty strong signal about who their customers actually are, and what those customers actually want.

      You want MS to be Sony, Nintendo, or Apple. Unfortunately the dream of that MS died when the skunk works team behind the original Xbox were squeezed out. Better they become a productive business company than continue as a half-assed consumer one.

    • In other words, Microsoft is going to proceed with a vision which may or may not be of interest to consumers, and once again tell us what we want instead of listening to us.

      Consumers don't really know what they want in new technology until they are shown it. Microsoft's problem has not been making it's own product plans, but making bad product plans.

      • I would also say their problem has been execution. Tablets and smartphones were done by MS long before Apple got into the markets. I had one of their WinMobile smartphones; it was just buggy and hard to use. Their tablets were little more than more expensive but foldable Windows laptops with touchscreens. It must really chide Ballmer that Apple not only moved into their markets later but overtook them in such a short time.
    • by tero (39203)

      In other words, Microsoft is going to proceed with a vision which may or may not be of interest to consumers, and once again tell us what we want instead of listening to us.

      To be honest, if I was the CEO I wouldn't listen to "us" either. Why should I? We (I guess the collective consumers and customers) have no idea what we actually want.

      Except perhaps "cool free stuff" and at most "innovation" which doesn't really mean anything at all.

      He's been heading one of the divisions that has made most money lately -

  • ...require us to reimagine a lot of what we have done

    Following the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, where cylons look like humans, the reimagined Microsoft CEO will lose the borg mask.

  • An indication on Nadella's "rating" from a business perspective will be reflected by the MS share quotation tomorrow.
    • Why wait till tomorrow? The market is open now, and already has the news. MSFT is flat, so the market's opinion is a big fat "meh!"

    • by EvilSS (557649)

      An indication on Nadella's "rating" from a business perspective will be reflected by the MS share quotation tomorrow.

      The market really didn't react much, but then again Nadella has been the rumored front runner for a few weeks now so it's really no surprise to anyone. I think everyone is going to wait until he starts making some announcements on direction before they react.

    • IIT? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by whoever57 (658626) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @11:17AM (#46150477) Journal
      He grew up in a privileged environment but didn't make it into IIT. What does that say about him and his technology skills?
  • Give him a chance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jones_supa (887896) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:29AM (#46149939)
    Well, let's at least not destroy this guy immediately. Maybe he has something good to bring to Microsoft as the CEO.
    • by mlts (1038732)

      He isn't tossing chairs just yet.

      I do have high hopes for this guy. MS, though not as flashy as other computer companies, has a lot of directions it can go for growth/innovation. They sit on a lot of technologies, and pretty much own the enterprise. MS had some bumps last year, but the main reason they emerged profitable was the price hike on their server products.

  • by HerculesMO (693085) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:31AM (#46149969)

    I've been on Slashdot long enough to know that unless Linus accepted the CEO spot, whoever got it was going to get a lot of hate here.

    The only thing I can say is that Microsoft is in dire need of engineering, and they promoted an engineer to the top spot. I think that's refreshing. What happens from here on out depends on what the roadmap looks like, but if the Surface Pro 2 is any indication, they are actually going down a good path on the hardware end of things. Time will tell on the software end.

    • by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:36AM (#46150019)

      I've been on Slashdot long enough to know that unless Linus accepted the CEO spot, whoever got it was going to get a lot of hate here.

      If Linus did become CEO of Microsoft I suspect you would see more hate than ever before!

    • by BoRegardless (721219) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:45AM (#46150117)

      Good Start, breaking bad quickly once the rest of the announcement is read!

      Unfortunately, Gates and Ballmer left, but they are both mega shareholders, still on the board, and whoppee, Bill Gates is coming back to be more involved in new products "working one day a week" as a rumor out of Redmond says an "anonymous source."

      The quote "'We are the only ones who can harness the power of software " is emblematic of the arrogance and lack of analysis of competitor's products, considering that most products now are integrated hardware products.

      How come I've already lost interest in what Satya says.

      • by jkrise (535370)

        How come I've already lost interest in what Satya says.

        Maybe coz Satya is an Indian? People at high places in Microsoft have been blurting inanities for decades now; and still the Press lap it all up; and even /. debates these sweet-nothings.

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:40AM (#46150043)

    Chairman is a mostly ceremonial role so the only reason I can see for him stepping down is that he can see the cliff coming and wants to get off before the company goes over. Either that or he thinks his image has been so poisoned by Ballmer that he suspects he needs to go to make the company's image bounce back.

    Very strange.

    • by netsavior (627338) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:46AM (#46150133)
      I think he is obsessing about his charity more and more, and even a ceremonial roll is too much. Also, leaving the board is like a vote of confidence in Nadalla. "See I had to babysit Steve 'developers-developers-developers' Balmer, but this new guy is totally fine."
    • A CEO wants to have the ability to potentially change the course of the company, including, potentially, affecting the sacred cows that inevitably accumulate in any long-term successful business. That can mean reassigning/firing key people who may, in the CEO's eyes, be blocking change. Cancelling beloved pet projects. Forming alliances with former enemies.

      The last thing a CEO wants is a Chairman (who may have some limited formal power, but often exerts a lot of informal influence on the Board and key execs

      • by Viol8 (599362)

        Yeah , except the Chairman & board appoints the CEO - not the other way around. Aside from that he's the largest individual shareholder in MS so no one inside the company - outside investors sure - is going to tell him what to do.

    • by sjbe (173966)

      Chairman is a mostly ceremonial role so the only reason I can see for him stepping down is that he can see the cliff coming and wants to get off before the company goes over

      If the person holding the position of Chairman of the Board is acting as a figurehead then they are Doing It Wrong. Chairman of any public company is FAR from a ceremonial role.

  • 'We are the only ones who can harness the power of software and deliver it through devices and services that truly empower every individual and every organization.'

    The main thing I can think of that makes Microsoft uniquely position for anything is its semi-monopoly status. Is he arguing that they'll use that to take over a new market?

    • by QilessQi (2044624)

      It was an internal email, intended to calm the waters in a time of change... I don't think he would have come out and said, "Well, we've got stiff competition in both the mobile and server markets, and we've really fumbled the ball in the past with things like Microsoft Bob, the Zune, Windows ME, Vista, and the Windows 8 UI, but please don't send your resume to Google just yet..."

  • Now, can I please have Windows 9 with the Windows 7 and Windows Classic UI as options?? It's literally the only reason why I'm not switching -- some of the Windows 8 UI is nice, but I can't stand the 2D desktop interface from Windows 2.0.

    Seriously, the best thing that could be done for Windows right now is not to dump Metro, but to put it on tablets where it belongs and not force desktop users to buy into the whole touch-first thing.

    • Now, can I please have Windows 9 with the Windows 7 and Windows Classic UI as options??

      Actually there is a chance of exactly that happening.

  • by AlexOsadzinski (221254) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:44AM (#46150109) Homepage

    I've met Satya. It was several years ago, as part of a larger groups of VCs who regularly met Microsoft execs. He comes across as technically knowledgeable, smart, decent "presence" and leadership. He didn't strike me as visionary, but that's hard to judge when you're in a group that's being given the corporate line.

    Knowing a little about the Microsoft culture, and having seen it over the past 20+ years, I personally think that an outsider would have a horrible time. First, in a company that is strictly a technocracy (and that comes from Bill himself), a non-technical outsider would be derided and would have a very tough time. A Gerstner->IBM type of hire probably wouldn't work. A technical outsider would still have to deal with the pretty inbred internal culture.

    We've seen disastrous "shake the company up with outsiders" hires at HP, Yahoo (not Marissa, the, um, previous errors), Motorola, Nokia and others. Satya is probably, IMHO, a good hire, he knows the culture, and he has to simultaneously manage transitions in various product lines, and keep the money engine going. Remember, while many people talk as if Microsoft is dead and irrelevant, just look around you at almost any conference, or on a flight, and see how many people are using Windows and/or Office. And Microsoft is still worth around a third of a TRILLION dollars. A decent chunk of the US population invests in Microsoft, directly or through funds. A CEO can't take big risks with that market cap.

    I wish him the best. He's got a lot to do.

    • I also wish him the best and agree he has a lot to do. But he's just made it a lot harder on himself by volunteering to attach the boat anchor of Bill Gates around his ankle before starting the race.

      Lots of people have said the whole culture of "do anything but touch Office/Windows cash cows" led to a lot of the dysfunction, and that was very much the doing of Gates and Ballmer. In fact, at one point - don't know if that's how it played out - people were complaining that with Gates on the hiring panel the

      • by sjbe (173966)

        But he's just made it a lot harder on himself by volunteering to attach the boat anchor of Bill Gates around his ankle before starting the race.

        I wouldn't read too much in the public politics. My guess is that he's just playing nice. No reason to burn bridges needlessly. With Gates leaving as chairman, Satya will (probably) have a relatively free hand. If Gates is off the board then he can be publicly nice but ignore him behind the scenes.

      • I love your analysis. The history of tech (and, for all I know, non-tech) companies is sadly littered with failures caused by founders who couldn't face significant change. A founder's ego and self-worth are often very tied to the ideas that (s)he grew into a big company.

        Ken Olsen at DEC famously decried Unix as "snake oil" (ok, maybe not COMPLETELY wrong) and drove the company out of business with proprietary, closed systems.

        Ray Noorda at Novell hung on a very long time after his tragic health issues rende

    • Except, of course, Microsoft is not a "technocracy", and it hasn't been that for a very long time. Let me remind you, for the past decade the company was run by a completely non-technical guy with a sales background. At Microsoft the fast track to the management ladder is to become a program manager (PM for short), or to be one right from the start. PMs promote and hire still more PMs, to the point where you get 1:1 PM/Dev ratio, and they do nothing but report status to one another.

      Therein lies just one of

  • by bugs2squash (1132591) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @10:46AM (#46150129)
    So he's the new chair man ?
  • Does anyone know why that's going on?
  • by WiiVault (1039946) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @11:26AM (#46150583)
    So I'm gonna bet those divisions are not going to see the focus they did under Ballmer. Assuming the company decides to shift away from chasing the competition with decent but never exciting consumer products. Makes sense too, the new CEO worked for a segment of the company that couldn't have been too thrilled to be bankrolling duds like those. It is pretty bizarre to think that Elop reportedly wanted to sell the Xbox (and Bing) group and now he has been put in charge of it. But maybe it was just a nice gesture to hand him some Ballmer legacy stuff that isn't really anything but an endless drain of company resources and focus. Or maybe they are just stupid and think that his skill at wreaking good organizations might have the the inverse effect on already broken ones.
  • MS logo-icon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by markhb (11721) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @01:50PM (#46152653) Journal
    Does anyone else miss the old BillG-as-a-borg icon? Using the former corporate logo is so... corporate.

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