New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Rallies the Troops, Stays the Course

Satya Nadella and the Microsofties


Satya Nadella and the Microsofties


It’s always a good idea for the new guy to make the rounds, and newly installed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella isn’t wasting any time.

Nadella has already met with Microsoft’s leadership team and addressed employees, along with exiting CEO Steve Ballmer, founder Bill Gates and new chairman John Thompson. He’s holding a webcast for customers (and press, investors and the general public) at noon PT, and Re/code will have live coverage once it gets under way.

Of course, it’s not all about meet-and-greets. Nadella has plenty of urgent tasks, including getting Microsoft’s mobile house in order.


Ina Fried February 4, 201411:14 am

We’ll have all the highlights starting in 45 minutes, but for those that want to tune in to the Webcast, here’s the link

Ina Fried February 4, 201411:19 am

Ballmer and Nadella, from this morning’s meeting with employees.

Ina Fried February 4, 201412:03 pm

Satya kicks off with short introduction, talking about his background, starting with when he joined Microsoft at age 24 in server business, through business apps and search and back to enterprise and cloud.
“I’m a lifelong learner,” he says.

Ina Fried February 4, 201412:03 pm

Ina Fried February 4, 201412:04 pm

I buy more books than I can finish, Nadella said. It’s not just learning for learning’s sake. We learn from others.

Ina Fried February 4, 201412:06 pm

Nadella expanding on themes of his employee email. Noting that it will be a mobile-first, cloud world.

“The question for us is how do we thrive in that environment. What innovation can we bring?”

Today it’s about phones, but soon it is about machines too. 

Software still at the center of everything, he says.

Ina Fried February 4, 201412:07 pm

If it is a software world, why buy Nokia and make Surface?

“Devices are where these experiences come together,” Nadella said.

Ina Fried February 4, 201412:10 pm

Asked about consumer and business sides of Microsoft, Nadella said that innovation can’t be compartmentalized that way. 

“It starts with the user,” Nadella said. While businesses have some unique needs, some people have to use the devices whether at work or home.

Ina Fried February 4, 201412:11 pm

Nadella says many of Microsoft’s capabilities will be “cross-platform” supporting Windows Phone and surface, but identity and management pieces will work with rival devices too.

Ina Fried February 4, 201412:11 pm

Ina Fried February 4, 201412:13 pm

He praises PC ecosystem, says that Microsoft needs to bring new partnerships to everything it does. (Read: pat on the back to HP and Dell, welcome mat to would-be mobile partners.)

Ina Fried February 4, 201412:15 pm

So far this sounds like a talk that could be given by any of Microsoft’s top leaders, echoing types of messages long given by Ballmer, Gates, etc.

Ina Fried February 4, 201412:17 pm

Asked what are his top priorities, he said, “Learning is one key.” Says will be on the road a lot meeting with customers, partners and investors. Being in touch with perceptions, grounded in realities is what will best serve Microsoft going forward.

He said the company’s strategic frame around devices and services is right and already in place. Just needs more specificity and focus on what Microsoft can uniquely do. “That’s the focus we will bring to our execution.”

Ina Fried February 4, 201412:19 pm

Looks like that’s it. Now a reception for those customers actually in Redmond, Wash., for the event. BTW, the woman who was “interviewing” Nadella was Susan Hauser, a VP and head of Microsoft’s partner group.