Last week it was announced that Satya Nadella would take over from Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO. Nadella becomes only the third CEO of the technology giant, after founder Bill Gates and predecessor, Ballmer. There are many challenges that Nadella will need to overcome in order to be as successful as Gates, and while Apple and Google lead the way in the world of technology at the moment, there’s never been a better time for a CEO to stamp his authority on a company the way that Nadella can.
But where did Nadella come from? He’s been the executive vice president of cloud and enterprise at Microsoft before his recent promotion, and has been at the company for a total of 22 years. “The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform. A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly,” he said on his new role.
The decision to promote someone not from the mobile world, in a mobile dominated market, does beg the question, “what will Microsoft focus on over the next 12 months?” Here in Africa mobile technology and usage is skyrocketing and the time to make the most of it is now. Windows Phone, and specifically Microsoft owned Nokia, still lags behind Android and iOS in terms of adoption rate, and I’m fairly certain it will be a key focus of the new man at the helm of Microsoft.
Nadella’s promotion wasn’t the new development in the Microsoft stable either, Bill Gates also stepped down from his role as the chairman of the board of directors. This isn’t with a plan to leave though, it’s to make himself available to once again take a more hands-on role at his beloved company. He will serve, still on the board, as Founder and Technology advisor , billed to work closely with Nadella.
The technology landscape continues to ebb and flow and Microsoft is only the first of the major players to reveal their plans for 2014, keep an eye out for a host of new developments and changes over the coming 12 months.