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New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture 204

jfruh (300774) writes New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that he and his leadership team are taking "important steps to visibly change our culture" and that "nothing is off the table" on that score. While much of his declaration consists of vague and positive-sounding phrases ("increase the fluidity of information and ideas by taking actions to flatten the organization and develop leaner business processes"), he outlined his main goals for the shift: reduce time it takes to get things done by having fewer people involved in each decision; quantify outcomes for products and use that data to predict future trends; and increasing investment for employee training and development.
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New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

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  • translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 12, 2014 @08:36AM (#47437369)

    reduce time it takes to get things done by having fewer people involved in each decision = layoffs

    quantify outcomes for products and use that data to predict future trends = every ms product will have facebook-like privacy-infringing malware

      increasing investment for employee training and development = get more h1b visas to replace us workers with foreign code monkeys

  • Re:Manager (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @08:47AM (#47437417)

    yeah, because everything a nerd wants is summed up in the phrase "business process", flat or not.

  • by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @08:48AM (#47437425)

    "we mean to increase the synergistic use of buzzwords to drive shareholder value and customer satisfaction."

    Seriously, there's a company I saw one time that had "We strive for our customer's affection." as their mission statement on the building. Nobody really listens to this shit. Net Net, he's going to fire a few talking heads, move some departments around and if you don't like it you can leave.

  • Re:Wha? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @08:51AM (#47437433) Homepage

    Flatten the organization is simple enough - fire or demote managers so that there are more people reporting to any particular manager.

    Really this sounds like the kind of buzz-speak I was hearing at work a few years ago when the same sorts of things were done. The same Accenture consultant probably wrote the slide deck.

    Fewer people = fewer people involved in each decision, etc. They always talk about changing the culture, because talking about layoffs doesn't exactly make people excited to go to work.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 12, 2014 @09:03AM (#47437467)

    We are also under the delusion that the CEO's actions really matter. If you took the CEOs with the best track records and brought them in to run the businesses with the worst performance, how often would those companies become more profitable?.....the answer is roughly 60%. That isn't much better than the flip of a coin. []

    And I"m to find another stat that said that a CEO contributes about 5% to a company's bottom line.

    There have been CEOs - Lou Gerstner's turn around of IBM in the early 90s comes to mind - that may have been worth it.

    But all in all, they are over paid for what they do. Yahoo!'s new CEO, for example, is just throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. Marissa was the great blond hope for Yahoo! but she is turning out to be mediocre - like most CEOs. But, regardless of what happens, she'll get her $60 million - remember that when you bust your ass to meet a deadline and during your review you are told you could have done more and therefore you are rated as only "meeting objectives" and you just get a cost of living raise (1.5% If you didn't bust your ass working 60 hours a week for months, you would have gotten a "below standards" rating, no raise and if lucky you keep your job until they offshore your entire department.).

    Yep, we live in a meritocracy all right.

  • Re:Manager (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Teckla ( 630646 ) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @09:05AM (#47437475)

    But seriously, hopefully Microsoft will benefit from him and become a bit more popular amongst nerds.

    Why do you hope for that? Microsoft pretends to reinvent itself regularly, but one thing remains constant through the decades: Their goal has unswervingly been lock-in from top to bottom, while trying to nickel and dime you the whole way.

    For nerds, this means locking you into their programming languages (e.g., VB or C#), or if not that, at least lock you into their APIs (so that you're as good as locked in, even if you're using C or C++). It means abandonment of entire domains that no longer suit them (look up how woefully out-of-date and ignored the C part of their C/C++ compiler is).

    It means locking you into their platforms, whether that be the operating system (Windows) or the browser (Internet Explorer).

    It means high prices (have you seen the prices on Windows Server and/or Microsoft Azure lately?), which is not-at-all nerd-friendly. It means guaranteed stagnation in those domains where they achieve dominance. It means product churn for the sake of profits. It means ignoring customers and forcing bad implementations on them (*cough*Metro*cough*) and then taking forever to admit it was a mistake and fix it (when is Windows 9 due out? Next year sometime?).

    Just because some new-boss-same-as-the-old-boss is singing some unicorns-and-rainbows song doesn't mean the core of Microsoft is going to change. They're still after the same things they've always been after: Lock-in so severe that the pain of escape ensures most people remain slaves, and profits, profits, profits.

  • Re:Translation (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 12, 2014 @09:16AM (#47437505)


    He'll do what all Indians in a position of power do -- preferentially hire and promote other Indians.

  • Re:Manager (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @09:51AM (#47437629) Homepage

    The problem is at their core they fail to recognise there are two organisations, hard business under M$ and creative works under MSN. They have allowed M$ to be a continual drag upon MSN and really failed to capitalise on it's value. Doing silly stuff like lessening the brand with outlook, live and bing over advertising and lessening page view worth and crippling creativity by leaving it stuck under M$ management.

    They should split the company and allow MSN to achieve it's worth whilst they milk windows and office for all they can. The cloud has been severely impacted by the shenanigans of the NSA. It looks like he global cloud is at an end, already under threat in Russia and China and likely to fragment further. Appliances are back on the table and likely to dominate as trust has been pretty much permanently destroyed. Even something as simple as a mobile phone is seeing storage capacity increase as people want to store locally and backup at home, trust is being abused at every level of business both by corporations and government agencies.

    They need to focus on plug and play appliances, creating a home stack or a business stack. At home that means a big screen display, modem router with storage capacity, phone, pc, notebooks, family notice board (web, mail and internet server all built in). Business tends to be much just greater capacity, greater demands on reliability and more units in the stack. Software taking a back seat to supplying the appliance complete, ready to go and just plugging into the stack. Hard copy is also part of that stack whether 2D or 3D.

    They should also not shy away from Android or Linux it just leaves them looking incomplete and less than professional. Lock in opportunities are shrinking especially as major markets will actively block it, not anything to do with M$ but all to do with the US. Many countries let is slide for surprisingly long but now they are actively legislating against it, so now adding in other OS's keeps them in those markets.

  • by Entropius ( 188861 ) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @09:52AM (#47437633)

    I don't want them to "reinvent productivity" -- I want them to stop buying other people's things and making them suck (Skype) and stop working hard to make their own things suck (Windows 8).

  • Re:Manager (Score:4, Insightful)

    by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Saturday July 12, 2014 @11:14AM (#47437931) Homepage Journal

    Their goal has unswervingly been lock-in from top to bottom, while trying to nickel and dime you the whole way.

    This is exactly the corporate culture shake-up that's required.

    Microsoft has a lot of really smart people, and the financial and other assets needed to put them to work doing great things that can compete and win on their own, actually serving customers rather than trying to lock them in and then exploit them.

    MS could be great. But they need a radically different internal dynamic to get there. Will this guy be able to do that? I'm skeptical, but I really hope he can.

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