Five key points new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella makes in letter to staff

The Boardroom

by Joe Curtis| 04 February 2014

Steve Ballmer’s successor outlines what Microsoft must do to thrive in “cloud-first world”.

Microsoft has finally named its third chief executive, recruiting from within to replace Steve Ballmer.

Satya Nadella now takes the helm, filling the shoes and possibly tucking in the rather-too-large shirts of Ballmer, who literally made a song and dance over his resignation back in September.

Nadella, the former VP of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, wrote a letter to staff in which he suggested what the company needs to do to hit the heady heights of its '90s heydays once again and here CBR picks out the five key points he makes and what it says about Microsoft's probable future direction.

Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world.

This statement is nothing that hasn't been said before by a thousand analysts or even Microsoft itself, but it's important that Nadella acknowledged it. Rumours have persisted that Ballmer was pushed to resign early after dropping the ball on mobile, with the company's recent purchase of Nokia's handsets a belated sign that it is trying to enter the space.

Nadella's cloud background could also prove vital for Microsoft, and probably helped land him the job: Office 365 has a decent reputation, and we've also got lots of other cloud innovations like SkyDrive, its storage product, and Azure, its business cloud service.

Cloud enterprise is the space where Microsoft could become a leader, and Nadella's putting that aim right at the top of the agenda.

I've asked Bill to devote additional time to the company, focused on technology and products.

Nadella's casual manner belies the complete turnaround this news represents, just four months after three members of the Microsoft board lobbied hard for the firm's founder, Bill Gates, to quit the company completely.

They'd been worried his presence could block new schemes and dilute the influence of the new CEO, but clearly Nadella doesn't share their sentiments. Gates appears pretty happy with the new boss himself, congratulating him in this video.

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