Microsoft announced today what most of the business world presumed last week: Satya Nadella is the new CEO of the Redmond, Wash.-based software and technology giant.
Surprised? Probably not. We understand.
But the company also announced something that may surprise others — Bill Gates is still around. Previously chairman of the board, Gates is now the board's founder and technology advisor. John Thompson, lead independent director for the Microsoft board, maintains his role and is now also the board chairman.
But forget this executive musical chairs stuff for a second. What does Nadella at the top mean for the industry? It means the No. 1 in software and technology is investing heavily into IT technology and software in the cloud.
And if the No. 1 is doing it ... well, you know what that means. As Nadella himself said in Microsoft's news announcements today: "Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world."
Enterprise software and technology in the cloud is a business estimated at more than $2 trillion, Nadella once blogged. And Microsoft’s commercial business, spanning nearly every area of enterprise IT, represents 58 percent of Microsoft’s total revenue, Nadella said.
So why not Nadella to lead Microsoft into this era of the enterprise cloud, where businesses are constantly striving to be in the enterprise?
"Microsoft is in a state of transition, transforming itself from an on-premises software company that developed products for PCs and servers, to a company that offers mobile-first, cloud-always services for businesses and consumers," Richard Edwards, principal analyst for Enterprise IT at Ovum Research, told CMSWire this morning. "Oh, and it’s in the hardware business, too. What company wouldn’t find that a continuous struggle?"
'Incredible Cloud Capacity'
Nadella was Microsoft's executive vice president of cloud and enterprise and served as the president of Microsoft's server & tools business. He supported the company’s move to the cloud and the development of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world supporting Bing, Xbox, Office and other services. The Microsoft cloud business unit is at $19 billion.
In his first email to employees today, Nadella mentioned the word "cloud" five times.