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In ten years, Satya Nadella has propelled Microsoft into a new dimension

In ten years, Satya Nadella has propelled Microsoft into a new dimension

“I was lucky enough to change positions every four or five years. This allowed me to always stay on the alert, constantly motivated”declared Satya Nadella, shortly after his appointment as head of Microsoft, on February 4, 2014. Ten years later, he became the irremovable leader of the Redmond firm (northwest of the United States), he who regained the functions of president in June 2021. Only Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft in 1975, had until then combined these two hats of president and general manager.

Also read the portrait (2014): Satya Nadella, a man in the inner circle at the head of Microsoft

Mr. Nadella’s results speak in his favor. Under the leadership of this 56-year-old Indian, Microsoft became, in January, the world’s largest market capitalization, crossing the $3,000 billion mark (around 2,800 billion euros), ahead of Apple.

When Satya Nadella took control of the computer giant, Microsoft weighed barely more than $300 million on the stock market and was a sleeping beauty living on its laurels, thanks to the continued success of its Windows operating system. and its Office suite of office software. But the company, under the aegis of Bill Gates’ successor, Steve Ballmer (2000-2014), is missing the smartphone shift, a gap into which Apple is rushing. The purchase of Nokia in September 2013 for $7.2 billion did not allow the firm to return to the race.

No sooner had he succeeded Steve Ballmer than Satya Nadella led the most massive layoff plan in Microsoft’s history, involving 18,000 jobs (or 14% of the workforce), mainly at Nokia (12,500). “He was able to make strong decisions very quickly to stop the damage”underlines Thomas Husson, analyst at Forrester, who also emphasizes the paradigm shift embodied by the native of Hyderabad (India): “Compared to the cheeky Ballmer, Nadella establishes a more open, more modest and more rigorous culture of innovation. » The new boss is reforming management methods, breaking with the very vertical silo working method of the American giant.

Use of acquisitions

For Mr. Nadalla, Microsoft must take risks. Head of Microsoft’s cloud division before his promotion, the new boss then made cloud computing his priority. “Our industry does not respect tradition. She only respects innovation”, he explains. It draws a line under the culture of exclusivity of its products which prevailed until then. From 2014, Office software was made available on Apple computers.

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Mattie B. Jiménez

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