Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Did Microsoft choose the wrong CEO?

Microsoft has finally ended the speculations about who might become the third CEO in the company’s history. It has revealed that Satya Nadella, a veteran insider, will take the top job at the company. Nadella (46), who has been with Microsoft for over 22 years, used to be the executive vice president in charge of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group.
So far, only co-founders Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer have headed up the company. Given that over recent years, Microsoft has failed to keep pace with more innovative rivals including Google, Apple and Facebook, fresh blood was urgently required. Previous CEO Steve Ballmer failed miserably to deliver innovations and lead the company into new and exciting fields.
This is why I felt quite strongly that an inspirational, external CEO was required. What Microsoft now needs is someone who can take tough decisions; cut the losses in many areas where Microsoft is failing to compete, and really focus the company on the things it is good at. In my view, Microsoft requires a large scale restructuring that will only work if it is headed up by a visionary leader, someone that can inspire and motivate the people to join that journey. Otherwise, the company will continue to sink and fall apart in slow motion.
Somehow, I don’t think, soft-spoken and poetry loving Nadella is right for that job. He has kept a very low profile and can hardly be described as a visionary leader. Probably even less so than Steve Ballmer, who at some point had one of the lowest employee approval ratings of any CEO. For me, Nadella seems like the “safe” choice and I don’t think for one minute he was the first choice. The problem was that other players like Ford Boss Alan Mulally were on the list but declined publicly.
What goes in Nadella’s favour is that he seems a really nice guy. But is nice what Microsoft needs now?
Also, with the announcement of the new CEO, Microsoft also revealed that Bill Gates is stepping down as Chairman. On the surface this seems a good move because it creates more space and freedom for Nadella to make more radical decisions and put his own stamp on things. Unfortunately, Gates will stay on the board as ‘Founder and Technology Advisor’. Really, technology advisor? Anyway, Steve Ballmer will also stay and John Thompson will be the new chairman of the board.
I would love to see Nadella succeed but somehow I can’t see that he would be able to make the radical changes that are required if the co-founders still sit in the background, holding many strings. For me, Microsoft might just have missed another opportunity to take the company into a new direction. But what do you think? Could he just be the right person?
Let me know your thoughts and please share your views. To help make up your mind, here is the first interview with Satya Nadella as the new Microsoft CEO:

*All information and images does not belong or relate in anyway to BYTE ME, LLC.

Content and image resources:  http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140204222910-64875646-has-microsoft-picked-the-wrong-ceo-right-and-should-bill-gates-have-stepped-down?trk=tod-home-art-list-large_0

Photo by Shutterstock.com
Article posted by:    Bernard Marr

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