Steve Ballmer came to the conclusion that Microsoft
would be better served by having new blood lead the company into whatever era lies ahead, and so he began his farewell tour last year
. That tour ended with the eventual promotion of Satya Nadella
to Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who previously was Microsoft's lead man in the server and tools division. It's a big promotion, to say the least, and right away Nadella has identified a key to Microsoft's long-term success -- reinvention.
In an interview with The New York Times
, Nadella touched on a number of topics, including his "big picture thoughts" about how to approach his new role and how he wants to leave his mark.
"Longevity in this business is about being able to reinvent yourself or invent the future. In our case, given 39 years of success, it's more about reinvention," Nadella said. "We've had great successes, but our future is not about our past success. It's going to be about whether we will invent things that are really going to drive our future."
Nadella didn't elaborate on that thought or get into specifics, though it seems pretty clear he won't be content to rest on Microsoft's laurels. It will also be interesting to see what new products come out of Microsoft if the focus does indeed include inventing things.
Nadella also talked about what kind of role company co-founder Bill Gates will have. As far as Nadella is concerned, this is nothing new, noting that he and Gates have worked closely for about nine years.
"So I'm very comfortable with this, and I asked for a real allocation of his time," Nadella said. "He is in fact making some pretty hard trade-offs to say, 'O.K., I'll put more energy into this.' And one of the fantastic things that only Bill can do inside this campus is to get everybody energized to bring their 'A' game. It's just a gift."
With Gates willing to take on a bigger role, that's good news for both Nadella and Microsoft, as well as anyone pulling for Microsoft to duplicate its past successes.