Satya Nadella climbs to the top of Microsoft. Already considered the person after Bill Gates who had the most influence on the destiny of the IT company, the third CEO in the history of the group has just been elected chairman of its board of directors. Until now, only the emblematic co-founder of the company had combined the two functions.
Appointed Microsoft’s operational boss in 2014, Satya Nadella remained under the watchful eye of John Thompson, a veteran of the industry who became president after Bill Gates and who struggled to mentor the Indian engineer. After relaunching the company to make it the second largest market capitalization in the world behind Apple, Satya Nadella has won the confidence of shareholder representatives to lead alone.
In 2014, Microsoft was worth $ 300 billion to the Nasdaq for $ 87 billion in revenue. The company is now worth almost $ 2,000 billion, with sales of $ 143 billion in 2020.
In seven years, the general manager has, to use the title of his book “Hit Refresh”, indeed refreshed the page of the pioneer of the microcomputer created more than 45 years ago. The company of Windows and Word installed on PCs has become that of online computing (“cloud computing”) with Azure and remote software from the Office 365 suite, including the Teams videoconferencing application.
In the battle for the cloud
The boss has at the same time drawn a line on the ambitions in smartphones of his predecessor to the general management, Steve Ballmer. He sold Nokia and laid off 18,000 employees, two-thirds of them in the telephony business.
Considered declining when Satya Nadella was appointed, the company is now number two in the Internet server rental market, the mother of high-tech battles. In front of Amazon and Google, Microsoft and his boss are leading a titanic battle that will have repercussions in the software world, but also in the development of artificial intelligence or the deployment of 5G telecom networks.