Nothing off the table in Microsoft revamp: Satya Nadella

Microsoft is definitely not doing it “Ballmer style” according to company’s new CEO.

In an open letter to Microsoft employees yesterday, CEO Satya Nadella outlined his view of the technology giant’s place in the world and essentially told his staffer to brace themselves because he is about to take “important step to visibly change our culture.”

The reorganization of Microsoft is going to be, he warned: “Nothing is off the table in how we think about shifting our culture to deliver on this core strategy.”

While the letter was addressed to Microsoft 127,104 employees worldwide but it was clearly meant to be read by a larger audience and its was evident that Nadella wanted it clear that the 39-year-old company is breaking free of its old image and way of doing things.

Here are some key messages from Nadella’s letter:

No more Ballmer style

“Organizations will change. Mergers and acquisitions will occur. Job responsibilities will evolve. New partnerships will be formed. Tired traditions will be questions,” Nadella wrote in the Culture part if his letter.

“More recently, we have described ourselves as a ‘device and services’ company,’ he said. “While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy.”

This could be decoded as a stepping away from the way the path set out by former CEO Steve Ballmer.

A new focus on people and talent

“I am committed to making Microsoft the best place for smart curious, ambitious people to do their best work,” Nadellasaid. “We will change the process and mindset so you can seamlessly move around the company to roles where you can have the most impact and personal growth.”

Nadella is also going for a streamlined decision making process: “We will streamline the engineering process and reduce the amount of time and energy it takes to get things done. You can expect to have fewer processes but more focused and measurable outcomes. You will see fewer people get involved in decisions and more emphasis on accountability.”

Customer experience over products

Customer experience is going to be front and centre.

“Obsessing over our customers is everybody’s job,” according to Nadella. “I’m looking to the engineering team to build experiences ours customers love. I’m looking to sales and marketing organizations to showcase our unique value propositions and drive customer usage first and foremost.”

He highlights Microsoft products and services that are aimed at customers “digital work and life experiences such as the Surface pro 3, its new Skype translator and Office 365 subscription-based office suite, OneDrive and OneNote

In order to deliver the experience customer wants, he said Microsoft needs be more effective in predicting and understanding what customers want and be quick to adjust to signals from the market.

A challenge to Google

Nadella uses the word “world” more than 20 times in his letter, letting it known that Microsoft setting its sights on global conquest .

He stressed that Microsoft’s cloud OS “represents the largest opportunity” the company has for working from a position of strength, adding that Azure make Microsoft one of the few cloud vendors that runs on hyper-scale.

“Beyond back-end cloud infrastructure, our cloud will also enable richer employee experience,” he said. “For example, with our new Enterprise Mobility Suite, we now enable IT organizations to manage and secure the Windows, iOS and Android device that their employees use, while keeping their companies secure.”


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Nestor Arellano
Nestor Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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