Open Thread: What Are Your Thoughts & Predictions On Satya Nadella?

Satya Nadella is currently trending on twitter and it seems like everyone and their dog has analysis/opinion on him. I’m curious as to what YOU, our readers, think of the board’s decision to name Satya Nadella as Microsoft’s new CEO.  Please comment below.

My thoughts:

Just to briefly share my thoughts, I have mixed feelings on Satya “Nutella” Nadella.  On the one hand, as an Indian myself, I’m extremely proud that an Indian is the CEO of Microsoft.  I have deep respect for his enterprise work, first in e-commerce, creation of bCentral, then head of Business Solutions, and recently work on Windows Azure.

However, I’m concerned that what his pick means for Microsoft as a consumer focused company.  He did do some work on Live Search, but a lot of it was on the backend services.  Does Nadella have a vision for mobile, contextual, wearables, automobiles, home automation and more? It’s a question that is too early to answer right now.

It’s said that Nadella is a low key guy that virtually gets along with everyone.  And considering Nadella is a longtime insider, I think we’ll see the status quo remain the same for at least a year at Microsoft before big changes are made.  I think this means Terry Myerson’s vision for Windows/Windows Phone goes forward for the time being.  I was hoping for a bold unapologetic CEO that was possibly an outsider.  That being said, I think Nadella has a lot of potential and with him being in charge of his own destiny and legacy, in time he may be a great CEO.

Charlie Kindel, who you may recall as a former Windows Phone executive now working at Amazon, correctly predicted Nadella’s ascension to CEO but does not believe he’ll stay there long:

Charlie Kindel Nadella

 

So what are your thoughts on Satya Nadella? Do you have any predictions on how long he will stay as CEO of Microsoft?  What should Nadella do immediately as CEO of Microsoft? Comment below...

About the author  ⁄ Suril Amin

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • Wayne Sebbens

    Nadella has recognised the need for Microsoft to move quicker in existing markets, and it’s a path Microsoft has already started down.

    “Does Nadella have a vision for mobile, contextual, wearables, automobiles, home automation and more?”
    I’m not too worried about Microsoft losing focus of their consumer side, as the consumer business is mostly driven by services – services which run on what their enterprise side creates, which is where Nadella has come from. Microsoft is today in a position for those opposite sides of the company to drive the other to improve and innovate, and based on his email I think Nadella can see this.

  • Jeff Hung

    I would highlight his quality of “eager to learn”. No CEO would spend his/her time on drawing block diagrams for any specific project (though many people still believe Steve Jobs “designs” iPhone). But as long as a CEO is good on learning, he or she has better insight to lead the whole company on the right track.
    In Nadella’s case, he doesn’t need to know everything about consumer market. He only need to empower his VPs in consumer division and make critical decisions based on what he learns from them, instead of saying “I don’t know anything about consumer market but you guys are BS, I’ll do everything on my own way as I did before”, the VPs can run the business well on their own.

  • CyberAngel

    The MSFT “Threshold” guy.

  • redtidal

    I am less worried about his current vision or if he has one that will cover all aspects of MS; rather, once he is in the leader position, will he able to learn, adapt, and see further than competitions. The important thing for me is his ability to develop new business, to lead new segment, in other words–to develop new vision(s) and sell that vision to partners and customers.

  • Long Xuyen

    Well, first thing is to reduce the lag time between product announcements and availability. When it takes 6 months to get the latest whiz-bang stuff, especially phones updated, it feels like ho hum old news when the product/update finally arrives.

    • Bugbog

      I believe it has already done that. The problem is you keep reading all the leaks about upcoming products that haven’t been announced, which then takes months to realise!

  • FateStayNight

    I predict a lot of negative press in the first year of Satya Nadelas tenure as tech sites like verge, recode, and others seek under the direction of their google and apple overlords seek to define him to the public in terms that are favorable to google and apple. So I think having the press release and public webcast as soon as they announced Nadela as CEO was a very savvy PR move. Microsoft’s public relations dept should be very vigilant this year as rival companies would seek to dictate the narrative of who Satya Nadela is and what microsoft future will be. They should hire the Nokia PR group, they’re really pro-active and fast on their feet.

    • SategB

      Wrong, it is not about good PR, it is about great products.

      And great products are timely and quality at version 1.0 not somewhere around 3.0 .

      • FateStayNight

        You keep repeating that. I read that the hundredth time you wrote it already. Microsoft has good products. Surface and their services are great! But if you don’t put them forth, no one is going to notice them. If you let other people who have ulterior motives put them forth for you, you get clobbered. Case in point. Microsoft helped develop the glucose detecting contact lenses. They help with the power issue, how to prevent rejection, and all those other niggling details. But google gets all the credit because they put a great PR campaign behind it after hiring the researcher that microsoft collaborated with. You keep on saying version 1 , 2, or 3. Let’s put this in perspective, more people bought vista, me, or nt than people who bought macs. Windows 8 and 8.1 get a combined share of 10% and you say it’s a failure. What does that make OsX which took 14 years and still got overtaken by windows 8?

        • Bugbog

          Indeed. Microsoft’s narrative is all too often dictated by those who are either clueless or just regurgitate the information from those pushing an agenda.

          I was appalled when watching the BBC last night as, in two different episodes (The Papers and, later in an interview with a reporter), Clive Myrie, an experienced presenter/reporter kept pushing the narrative that Microsoft was in similar strait’s as Blackberry! WTF??? (That he and two others there were part of the 4.8Million that bought Macs in the last quarter, hurray. But comparing that to the 72Million that bought PC’s is stupid!)

          That the Apple iPhone alone makes more than Microsoft’s businesses is a fact, but as any business student knows (heck, any lay person), having all your eggs depend on one basket is not an optimum situation to be in. Which would make Apple much more similar to BB than Microsoft!

          Whilst Microsoft is certainly not losing in the PC/Mobile/Cloud game. It is losing in the game of self-promotion, and for that it definitely needs to up its game!

          • SategB

            It was not self promotion that forced Metro on desktop, nor made pushed out vista, brought first Zune then Windows Phone late to the market, failed to develop a fictional tablet, or allow google to take the lead in search, Amazon the lead in cloud, or Apple the lead in mobile.

            Lead the market with timely great products built right the first time and all this issues facing our new CEO would be not.

  • SategB

    Nadella = Ballmer 2.0 few less bugs, a lot less sweat, but pretty much the same strategy. Problem is MSFT doesn’t get it right until 3.0 release…likely layoffs are coming at our MSFT :(

  • SategB

    If Charley is right about 3 CEO in 5 years, then it means our Microsoft is in for some difficult time ahead… :(

  • Nham Thien Duong

    I really like this bloke because he’ll set forth Ballmer’s vision, I’m certain that he won’t sell off Bing and/or the Xbox division (note that the Bing Engines and Xbox LIVE Games are things that set Windows and Windows Phone apart), also his business experience makes him the best choice for Microsoft Office, which needs to be more invested in, and as for Cloud, which will be the MOST IMPORTANT AND BINDING FACTOR of the coming epoch, he is the better choice compared to anyone, I’m also glad that the media was so wrong with thinking that Elop (ELOP = FLOP) would become the next Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, he knows hardware, but not software, and Microsoft is the foremost software company of the world, but at hardware they’re a bit less capable (see: the Red Ring of Death).