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A closed room event with Microsoft CEO - Satya Nadella

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Iain Mobberley, Technology Director at OCSL shares some thoughts and insights from attending a closed room event with


CEO, Satya Nadella.

This is what I was faced with on the 16


July 2014 when I was invited, along with nine of my peers, to a closed door session at the Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference with Satya Nadella. For those who don’t know – he is only the third CEO of Microsoft in its 39 years.

In my career I have had the pleasure of meeting all three leaders. Bill Gates always excelled with his desire to change the world and drive his company’s technology to the forefront of people’s minds. With Steve Balmer it was his presence and enthusiasm, as well as, his deep felt passion for Microsoft to be successful that were most noticeable.

Satya Nadella was 164 days into his role when he shared his views with this select gathering of partners. He is a career “Microsofter”. Almost, some would say, a safe bet. However, at this point he had already changed a huge amount.

Microsoft have moved to a Mobile-First Cloud-First business, moving away from a Devices and Services company. Office has been released onto iPad – after spending over 14 months sat on the development shelf, despite being ready for release. Bill Gates is now employed as a full-time advisor to Mr Nadella. And to top it off, Microsoft’s share price was higher than it had been for a couple of years ($27.44 two years ago and now $44.90 at time of writing).

We had 40 very carefully constructed minutes with Satya.

The first thing that was hugely different to my previous experiences of Microsoft CEO’s was Satya’s desire to drive Microsoft in his direction. He is a remarkable man - well informed, as you would imagine. And his vision of where the future lies and what Microsoft needs to do to continue to be successful and achieve its goals, is highly admirable. He is sharp and incisive and, I believe, he will continue to drive further changes that will seem both remarkable and really common sense.

My personal reflections of the meeting are that it was great to be one of the ten people invited to attend. And that I left feeling Microsoft is in a very safe pair of hands but with a leader who will really challenge his teams to do more and to strive to be innovators and leaders again.

Only time will tell whether this is correct, but I suspect great things from Microsoft in the coming months.

Iain Mobberley, Technology Director, OCSL