Microsoft’s New Face


Microsoft is about to announce its new face, the third CEO who could restore the company’s leadership when it comes to technology and pave the new road to devices and services. According to numerous sources including Re/code Co-Executive Editor Kara Swisher, the company founded by billionaire Bill Gates could be introducing its new leader in a few days.

So far, Microsoft is quiet about who its new face will be, but analysts believe that Satya Nadella, the executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group is the frontrunner in a race against colleagues Tony Bates and Stephen Elop thanks to a lifetime spent in between Microsoft’s walls. When adding that cloud computing business is a future that the company cannot neglect, Nadella is seen even more as a suitable CEO.

The fact that Nadella is in discussions with the board of directors is no news, but rumors say that the reportedly new face of Microsoft wants Gates to drop his chairman role and focus on working with him on technology. Although the simple presence of both Gates and former CEO Steve Ballmer was a deal-breaker for numerous external candidates, Nadella doesn’t seem to perceive the two as a threat.

“From the technical side, Mr. Nadella is a good choice,” Rick Sherlund, analyst at Nomura said.

Although Sherlund was formerly one of the analysts who uttered that Microsoft’s new face should be chosen outside the company’s walls, he also admits that if Gates’ enterprise wishes to move its attention in its own back yard, Nadella is definitely the winner. Brad Silverberg, a computer scientist known for his work at Microsoft shares Sherlund’s opinion and states that “Satya is by far the best internal choice.”

Norman Young, senior stock analyst at Morningstar investment research defends Nadella’s lack of experience with regard to leading one of the world’s biggest companies and points out the qualities of Microsoft’s reportedly new face.

“He’s got charisma, employees like him and he’s got the acumen to lead the company,” Young said.

What recommends Nadella for the job as Microsoft’s new CEO is his familiarity with the company, strong technical background and varied work history at Gates’ enterprise. More importantly, he knows the culture, has already won the respect of the senior software engineers and has increased the revenue of Microsoft server business to $20.3 billion up from $16.6 billion when he accepted the executive job in 2011.

Since John Thompson, the lead independent director of Microsoft’s board of directors mentioned in a blog post that the announcement of Microsoft’s new face will happen in the “early part of 2014,” the news will most probably come in February.

Satya Nadella  is not the first Indian native executive at Microsoft. In 1982, Vijay Vashee was one of the two Indians in a company with 160 employees, but he became the general manager for Microsoft Project and changed the way the enterprise looked at imported talent all the way from India.

Although some analysts consider that Nadella’s pleasant personality suggests that he is not the breath of fresh air shareholders expected, his success within the enterprise cannot be denied, especially since he is the least controversial of all candidates, as Swisher pointed out.

Satya Nadella is Microsoft’s rumored new face, but irrespective of specialists’ opinion, the decision is on the verge of being released and the company’s third CEO will probably be soon introduced.

By Gabriela Motroc

International Business Times
The Economic Times

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