I’ve been working for and with Microsoft since 1991. I’ve been in the toilet with Bill Gates and in a card game with Steve Ballmer (me: “I’ll raise £10”, Steve: “I’ll raise a small Caribbean island”). They are synonymous with Microsoft. Now the Microsoft King is dead; long live the Microsoft King. Well, not dead, just leaving. Bill Gates has also relinquished his role as chairman of the company he co-founded back in the seventies.
So who are the new CEO and chairman?
Satya Nadella is now leading the company as CEO and John W. Thompson replaces Bill as chairman. You can read all about Satya on Microsoft’s news page but John seems to have slipped in discretely. I had to read Wikipedia to find out about him.
Undoubtedly, Microsoft is changing to reflect a higher degree of devices and services. Satya has experience running Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise division so brings a great foundation to grow this. Office 365 and Windows Azure are already successful cloud offerings but Microsoft has historically just dipped its toe in hardware (outside of the Xbox of course). Yes, there are the Surface devices. Yes, there’s the acquisition of Nokia. I’m excited to see what is next.
I’m open-minded but I must admit, the official photo of Satya in a casual hoodie reminded me of politicians trying to look cool by donning baseball caps.