For Microsoft, simply ending CEO hunt is a good move

Had Microsoft dragged out its CEO search any longer, it risked continued embarrassment.

By now, you’ve all probably heard that Microsoft has chosen its third CEO, Satya Nadella, a 22-year veteran of the company who most recently held the position of President of the Server & Tools division. Satya, however, has also been VP of the Research and Development for the Online Services Division, the Business Division, and the Cloud and Enterprise group, among a couple of other positions. I mention his most recent titles to illustrate the diversity of Satya’s background; it seems he has had experience with many groups within Microsoft and should know well how to run the company. I’ll leave it up to folks much smarter than I to make predictions on his potential success or failure, but at the very least the man appears to be qualified.

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I’m just glad the CEO selection process is over and that Microsoft can finally get down to business with new leadership in place. Though Microsoft achieved its goal of selecting a new CEO within the time frame it had originally announced, the stream of rumored potential CEO candidates that were constantly being leaked was growing tiresome. I also think those stories were damaging the company’s already fragile image.

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Hey Steve! About that CEO job you’re giving up—I’ll take it.

It seemed that every time a new potential CEO candidate was mentioned, that person would publically declare the rumor untrue. Some of these rumored candidates even said they would have no intention of taking the job if it was offered to them anyway. Read or see enough stories like that and what impression would you have of Microsoft? I don’t want to speak for all of you, but I’d bet the impression wouldn’t be very good.

"Hey you! Want the CEO job at Microsoft and become rich beyond your wildest dreams?"

"Thanks. But, no thanks."

Talk about deflating.

Microsoft is always under such immutable scrutiny that every rumor and slightest bit of leaked (or fabricated) information spawns countless opinion pieces and speculation, much of which is used as fodder by all of the anti-Microsofties to ridicule the company. And, wow, was it getting old the last couple of months.

Whatever the future holds for Microsoft, Ballmer is out as CEO, Satya has taken over, and he has asked big Billy G. to step up and do more to help right the ship. I don’t think the overall direction of Microsoft is going to change much in the short term, especially considering they’ve selected a 22-year veteran and internal candidate to run the company, but seeing how things play out should be fun to watch, whether you’re pulling for Microsoft or not. I’m also glad Bill Gates will be a bigger part of the story moving forward. His philanthropy work has clearly changed him and given him a new view of the world. He’s still the genius he has always been, though, and his insights could prove invaluable to Microsoft’s future.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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