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Five important things to know about Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella

Following the surprise departure of Microsoft’s previous head and a protracted search, the company today announced Satya Nadella as the new CEO.


Microsoft has a new CEO and his name is Satya Nadella. His hiring comes on the heels of a long search process which began with the announced departure of the previous CEO, Steve Ballmer.

So, what do we know about the new captain of the good ship Microsoft? A fair amount, to be sure. Here are the top five things you should know about Mr. Nadella as he takes the reigns.

Satya Nadella is not new to the company

Mr. Nadella is a long-time employee of Microsoft and may be considered a significant insider. Nadella is an electronics engineer, has a degree in business administration, and, after a brief stint with Sun Microsystems, came to work with Microsoft in 1992. During his time with the company, Nadella has worked at an executive level, working with Microsoft's Server and Tools division and the Cloud and Enterprise Group. He is also credited with the transformation of Windows Live Search into Bing.

Satya Nadella understand his company's changing market

In his first mass-email as CEO to the employees of Microsoft, Nadella indicated that he understands the changing marketplace which Microsoft inhabits.

"I believe over the next decade computing will become even more ubiquitous and intelligence will become ambient. The coevolution of software and new hardware form factors will intermediate and digitize - many of the things we do and experience in business, life and our world," said Nadella. "This will be made possible by an ever-growing network of connected devices, incredible computing capacity from the cloud, insights from big data, and intelligence from machine learning.

This is a software-powered world."

Satya Nadella recognizes the hardware component to Microsoft's future success

During a Microsoft-produced interview of Nadella, he admits that hardware is as much a part of the future of Microsoft as the software creations that founded the company. He says, "The world going forward is more of a software-powered world, delivered in devices."

What this ultimately means for Microsoft products moving forward, we will have to wait and see.

Satya Nadella is a first-time CEO

Satya Nadella's experience, prior to his hiring as Microsoft's new CEO, is strictly as a division head. He has never ran a company as the sole driving force or leader, unlike many of the other proposed candidates for CEO. A point in Nadella's favor, beyond the general lack of experience with a specific title, is that the divisions that he oversaw at Microsoft were larger than many companies themselves.

An interesting point to note, that may or may not stem from Nadella's lack of CEO experience, is that Microsoft's co-founder and former chairman of the board will be spending server full-time days at Microsoft working with the company. Is he spending this time overseeing Nadella's transition?

Satya Nadella will try to innovate

Nadella made several comments in his email that can be taken as a shot-across-the-bow for status quo Microsoft employees. He said, "The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform." He went on to say that, "The opportunity ahead will require us to reimagine a lot of what we have done in the past for a mobile and cloud-first world, and do new things."

We may be able to expect great things, or at least interesting times, at Microsoft under the leadership of Satya Nadella. As he says himself, "Our industry does not respect tradition - it only respects innovation."

Maybe Microsoft will earn back a little respect.

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