Tag: Nadella

Microsoft needed to search for its soul

dsc_0002Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has written a book about how he had to “rediscover Microsoft’s soul” when he took the top job in 2014.

The book with the racy title Hit Refresh depicts Nadella as an Indian boy rising through the hierarchy at Microsoft to the chief executive spot.

At a launch event in London, Nadella said that he had to re-establish the purpose and goal of the vendor and take it beyond its PC roots.

“When I joined Microsoft in 1992 we used to talk about getting a PC in every home and in every desk as our mission. It was tangible, clear, succinct and in some sense very empowering because it was clear what the company was for and what we were trying to get done.

“Even by the late nineties, at least in the developed world, we had more or less achieved that, and after that it was a bit unclear – what is our purpose?

“So that was what I thought was important to start asking in 2014, it’s quite an existential question, why does Microsoft exist?”

Nadella said that, on this existential journey, he went right back to the first product Microsoft created – interpreters for the Altair 8800 – and formed a culture within the company that would lead to its focus not just being on technology.

“Those are the two things I’ve focused most on”, he said. “The sense of purpose and mission, and the culture. Those are the two bookends.

“Of course you have to get a lot of things in the middle right – your products, your technology, your business strategy… but what is ignored is what are the necessary conditions for you to get those things right? I believe it’s that sense of purpose and culture.”

Apparently Nadella after questing for the soul of Microsoft, vanquishing a few dragons, rescuing a few products from trolls, reshaped the company’s mission statement to focus more on people. It now reads: “At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.”

Apparently these sorts of mission statement’s pass for a soul.

Nadella said that, “moving forward”, Microsoft has given itself three pillars with which to achieve this mission – AI, mixed reality and quantum computing.

Nadella gets loads of bad karma

Scrooge-PorpoiseThe CEO who told women that they could gain good karma by not asking for pay rises, Microsoft new Chief Executive Satya Nadella, apparently is planning to come back as a slug in a future life.

Nadella has become one the technology industry’s biggest earners, with a total compensation package worth $84.3 million this year.

According to a document filed with securities regulators, Nadella has no chance of being released from the wheel of birth and death any time soon – unlike many Microsoft female employees.

The huge number is mostly made up of the estimated value of certain one-time stock awards given to Nadella, who became the company’s third CEO in February. He cannot actually receive the shares until 2019.

The massive stock awards, valued at $79.8 million overall, were designed to keep Nadella at Microsoft while the company was hunting for a new CEO, and to give him long-term incentives as CEO.

Large stock awards have not been necessary for Microsoft’s previous two CEOs, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, as both had multi-billion dollar holdings in the company.

Nadella’s compensation is set to be more modest, with “total target compensation” for fiscal 2015 set at $18 million, according to the company’s proxy filing.

Microsoft CEO faces karma from foot in mouth

foot and mouthThe Microsoft boss has said sorry to his women employees after making a huge howler on the subject of equal pay.

In answer to a question from the floor, “What do you advise women who are interested in advancing their careers, but not comfortable … with asking for a raise?” Multiple studies have suggested that women in the workplace earn roughly three quarters of the salary, on average, compared to male counterparts doing the same job.

Satya Nadella said that women who don’t ask for raises have “good karma” and that not asking for equal pay with men is a “superpower”,

His exact words were: “women who don’t ask for raises have a “superpower … because that’s good karma, that’ll come back … that’s the kind of person that I want to trust.”

It is not as if he said the comment in private either. He said it on a stage at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference, held in Phoenix, where no one is likely to take offence.

“It’s not really about asking for the raise,” Nadella told the audience, “but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along”.

We guess that at that point the conversion was drowned out by the cries of a thousand PR bunnies throwing themselves into Nadella’s mouth to stop him speaking.

Needless to say when he got back to the office there was a very cross representative from the PR department with an apology all written for him to send to all female employees who are being advised not to apply for raises.

Nadella wrote that he answered that question completely wrongly.

“I believe men and women should get equal pay for equal work. And when it comes to career advice on getting a raise when you think it’s deserved, Maria’s advice was the right advice. If you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask.”

We suspect that Nadella will have to spend a little more time on the Wheel of Birth and Death to escape his karma on that one.