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A “radical makeover,” a “renaissance”, a “renewal”: Many words have been used to describe the path followed by Microsoft since Satya Nadella was appointed head of the corporation in February 2014. Under Nadella’s leadership, staff at the US juggernaut have worked strenuously to reinvent the Redmond-based company.

Satya Nadella became the third CEO in Micro- soft’s history in 2014, following in the footsteps of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. Many at the time were left wondering about Nadella’s abilities: would this somewhat discreet, 46-year-old engineer, with 22 years of experience at Microsoft, have what it takes to lead the world’s number one software manufacturer? Four years later, most observers would agree that Nadella has succeeded in radically transforming Microsoft. When the CEO took over back in 2014, however, her success was far from sure, with the US multinational showing signs of age. The corporation had been struggling to fend off the onslaught of competition for over a decade. As well as being handicapped by its bureaucratic modus operandi, fierce internal feuding had taken the edge off its ability to innovate. Nadella’s assessment of Microsoft at the time she took
over was severe: “PC sales had slowed and we were significantly behind in mobile. We were behind in search and we needed to grow again in gaming. We needed to build deeper empathy for our customers and their unarticulated and unmet needs. It was time to hit refresh.”

 

Excerpt from Business Digest N°283, February 2018

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