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Microsoft returns to the top: How Nadera turned the tide

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Microsoft CEO Satya · Nadella’s office is on the 5th floor of Microsoft headquarters building 34 in Redmond, Washington. His office has an 84-inch touchscreen computer occupying a wall. Attention. But more eye-catching is the massive books in the room. Rows of bookshelves were full of books, and Nadella's desk was full of books on a long table next to them.

This office looks more like a community bookstore than the command center of the third-largest company in the world.

Nadella used his usual understatement to say: "I'm reading this book for a few pages, and that book looks at a few pages." Of course, there are a few books I have read from the beginning to the end. But without books, I could not live. ”

He sat in a turquoise chair, wearing a pair of brown casual shoes, socks are colorful. There are some very interesting monumental works in books around him, such as "Biological Economics," and "How will capitalism end? ” But he is not limited to seeing certain books.

In our conversation, he mentioned an article by Virginia & Middot; Woolf about the disease; it also mentioned a literary review of the cricket movement written by C.L.R. James of Trinidad. When he explained the influence of Microsoft's Xiaona Assistant, he borrowed characters from Shakespeare's novels to avoid talking about market share data: "If Othello had Microsoft Xiaona, would he recognize who Iago was? ”

"Bill is not the kind of person who comes into your office and tells you that ‘hey, he's doing well." ”

In February 2014, Nadella’s first actions after becoming CEO of Microsoft required senior executives to read Marshall · Rosenberg’s “Non-Violence Communication,” which is about a Communicate with each other in a way that communicates with each other. This gesture shows that Nadella plans to manage the company in a way that is different from Microsoft’s famous former CEO Bill · Gates and Steve · Ballmer.And to solve Microsoft's long-standing reputation as a fierce corporate infighting.(Manu Cornet, a programmer and cartoonist, summed up Microsoft's culture with an organizational chart in 2011, portraying Microsoft's various operating groups as having a pistol pointing at each other.)

Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer Brad · Smith said: “This is the first clear sign that Satya will focus on changing business strategies, not just culture. ” Brad · Smith is a senior employee who has worked at Microsoft for 24 years.

Holding Microsoft

Microsoft, when Nadella took over, is recognized by Wall Street and Silicon Valley as it gradually lags behind mainstream technology trends. The technology industry has shifted from desktop computers to smart phones (from Microsoft's Windows operating system to Apple's iOS and Google's Android systems). Windows’ share in the mobile operating system market fell below 4%, Apple’s and Google’s market value had soared to a record level, and Microsoft's share price has stagnated, despite Ballmer’s role as CEO from 2000 to 2014. The company’s revenue has tripled and its profits have doubled.

Jane Dawson, a research analyst with Jackdaw, said: "This is a lucrative company and they may not be able to fade out of the market soon." But the question is whether they will enter a long period of recession. ”

Therefore, when Ballmer announced his intention to retire in August 2013, taking over his position was neither considered an enviable difference in the US nor did he have the opportunity to continue the business as usual. Bloomberg has published an article on finding successors titled "Why You Don't Want to Become CEO of Microsoft".

"I'm thinking of a candidate who is focused on the Chinese market," said Mason Morfit, president and chief information officer of ValueAct. ValueAct is an active hedge fund that has invested $2 billion in the recruitment of new CEOs. "I personally prefer to choose a CEO among outsiders." ”

Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 when he was 25 years old. Although he had managed Microsoft's cloud business at the time, he was not the most popular person.

"There is no doubt that I am an insider", said Nadella, "I am proud that I am a Microsoft product. ”

However, when he was announced as the CEO of Microsoft, some critics described this choice as "backward".

Since then, Nadella has not only restored Microsoft's position in the industry; in just three and a half years, he has allowed Microsoft's market value to grow by more than $250 billion, achieving a better ratio than Uber and Airbnb, Netflix and Spotify, and Snapchat. And wework more valuable growth. Only a few CEOs like Bezos, Cook, Zuckerberg can have the same impressive performance.

During the period from 2000 to 2013, Microsoft's market value fell from a peak of US$600 billion, and eventually reached a market value of less than US$300 billion, which was less than half of the 2000 glory period. However, on October 20, 2017, Microsoft's market value returned to the peak of 600 billion US dollars again. But on this day, Microsoft has waited for 17 years. According to NetEase Intelligence, Microsoft's share price rose slightly on the 6th of June and the market value has exceeded US$780 billion.

Microsoft's share price not only returned to, or even surpassed, their highest point in the early days of the Internet. "Narda has exceeded my expectations," said Morfit, who is currently a member of Microsoft's board of directors. "I hope I can say we expected this to happen, but this is obviously false." ”

Cultural changes


How did Nadella reverse the situation?

This can be traced back to the book he asked his senior aides to read, and the book's impact on Microsoft culture. He motivated the company's 124,000 employees to accept what he called "learning everything" and not curiosity (rather than what he called "Microsoft's history", which in turn inspired developers, customers, and investments. The authors believe that Microsoft is dealing with them in a new, more modern way.

Nadella is a contemporary chief executive who can emphasize soft skills that are often ridiculed in highly competitive corporate politics. However, in today’s fast-growing market, the importance of this skill to ultra-high performance is increasing. The bigger.

Box CEO Allen & middot; Levy said: "Microsoft can hire a lot of CEO candidates. "Box has criticized Microsoft for slamming on Microsoft's billboards, but is now working with the company in multiple areas. "For the scale and size of the cultural changes created by Satya, there are not many case studies. ”

At 8 o'clock on a Friday morning, this means that members of the Microsoft Senior Leadership Team (SLT) are rushing to the meeting room in Nadella's office. When other executives come in, Nadella Wearing a black Microsoft AI school T-shirt, sitting in a seat in the middle of the table, holding a plate of grapes and pineapple.

The conference originated from a regular meeting called "Magic Researcher" created by Nadella, which showed some inspiring things the company is doing. One day in late June, engineers at the Microsoft Turkey branch in Istanbul repaired a prototype of an app they designed for visually impaired people through videoconferencing.

After such an encouraging start, the weekly meeting will last up to 7 hours. In the latter part of Ballmer's post as CEO, the "SLT" conference he initiated has become a symbol of the way Nadella Team Sports manages Microsoft. He solicited opinions and actively provided feedback throughout the entire process. When he agreed with someone, he would bite the coffee cup with his teeth in order to free his hands and gesture to express his opinions.

The sense of relaxation brought to people by this party can be seen as a change that began when Microsoft’s employees began working hard on their cooperation. Smith said, "In the past, all of us who grew up here know that we need to be fully prepared for every meeting. ”

There is nothing wrong with this, but this means that before the meeting begins, try to find out the answer, and then test whether your answer is correct. Bill · Gates and Steve · Ballmer both use this method to sort out areas that need further development. ”

When I asked Nadella about his cooperation with his predecessor, he was blunt:

"Bill is not the kind of person who walked into your office, he said," Well, well done & rsquo;, & rdquo; He told me, "Let me first tell you 20 errors you made today." ”

Nadella added that Ballmer's technology is similar and he is dissatisfied with the image he has depicted and emphasizes that he found this directness “shindly refreshing” (after becoming CEO, Nader Pull even asked Gates to continue to provide feedback for the product team. He is still the company's technical advisor.)

Nadella's approach is moderate, and he believes that human beings are naturally compassionate. This is not only beneficial to the creation of a harmonious working environment, but also is crucial for the manufacture of products that can resonate. "You must be able to say this person. Where do you come from? ” He said, "What makes them so? Why do they feel excited or frustrated about what is going on, whether it's about computing or computing? ”

His philosophy of living for the world stems from a major event in his personal life. In 1996, his first child, Zain, suffered severe cerebral palsy when he was born. Nathra felt regret that his and his wife Anu’s carefree lifestyle had completely changed. Anun then changed his point of view because the child gave up his architect career and took care of his son.

He recalled: "If there is any difference, I should make every effort to consider myself in Zain's perspective, so that I must be able to help him." "Although I think that the term empathy is sometimes overused, I still think that empathy is an important part of my current thinking. I clearly remember what kind of person I used to be. Before my bad part of personality was gradually disappearing. "Nardella talked about his inspiration from his 21-year-old son, who will soon be in August 2017."

"When I think of how he has withstood all the challenges, everything that happened in my life suddenly became meaningful. One thing my son can convey is that when I approach him, he will smile. This makes my life better. ”

The life with Zain helps to explain why Nadella has ensured that Microsoft's workplace and products can be used by people with disabilities. Prior to his appointment as CEO, he became the executive sponsor of the company's group of employees with disabilities. Today, he meets with the organization every quarter and speaks at his annual capacity summit. The summit attracted in 2017. About 850 participants.

Jenny Lay-Flurrie, who is responsible for the development of auxiliary functions, said: "I found out that he is a learner, very curious and a listener, but he is very decisive when necessary. He promotes things in a cooperative manner." development of. ”

An adventure

Growing up in Hyderabad, India, young Satya & middot; Nadella loves computers as much as he likes cricket. When he was 15, Nadella’s middle-class parents bought a computer kit for their only child from Bangkok.

On Nadella's 21st birthday, he came to the United States to study computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After graduating, he worked for Sun Microsystems for several years and was later taken away by Microsoft. The 1990s was a period of Microsoft's prosperity, and Nadella found himself steadily improving.

He said: "Well, I will be the best when I wait for my next job." This idea of ​​’ s is the worst, and if you say: "I'm working now is everything I want", life will become more straightforward. ”

He was in charge of Doug ·, who was the head of the Microsoft Business Solutions Group and now the governor of North Dakota; Bergam became a mentor at that time.

Earlier, Jeff & middot; Bezos is trying to recruit him to the Amazon, "Bergum said," my job is to re-recruit him. "Although Amazon has begun to expand its reach, Bergman has successfully pointed out that Microsoft offers the opportunity to beat any book provider can provide," I know that at that time his position on Amazon is Wrong, "Bergum admits," but I think it is right to persuade Satya to stay. ”

"When everyone is celebrating, you should feel the most scared. ”

In 2007, in front of Microsoft's last customer conference, he praised Nadella in front of tens of thousands of listeners and handed him the keynote speech. However, after the meeting, Ballmer stepped in and reorganized the team of employees. He believes that Nadella is more worth managing a different team, namely the Windows Live search engineering department, which was later called "Bing".

Searching tasks have better opportunities than commercial solutions. This is not an easy task because it brings profit and loss responsibility.

"Steve is very clear," recalls Nadella, "and he feels he can't refuse." He just said, "This is the most important challenge I face." I don't think this is a wise decision for you, but I hope you do it. Choose wisely, choose … & hellip; By the way, if you fail, there is no umbrella, I will not come to save you, will not let you go back to the original work. ”

In the search field, Microsoft is an extremely vulnerable group compared to Google. In order to compete, it has to operate in a more relaxed manner than other fields.

When most of Bing's executives took the iPad to a meeting, it was considered very fashionable, but it was also a symbol of despising Microsoft's equipment.

In the Bing Department, Nadella exists as an outsider. When Netflix’s CEO and then the Microsoft board member Reid · Hastings invited Nadella to attend the Netflix conference, Nadella did. This practice of Nadella lasted about a year.

"Oh, my God, I learned a lot," recalled Nadella. "I think one of my biggest hurdles is that when Microsoft grew up, I had never seen any other company." ”

Although Nadella reduced his exposure to Netflix after gaining control of Microsoft’s Web-enabled tools division, Azure, he used this experience to justify his promotion to CEO. Azure is Microsoft's network tools division and competes with Amazon Web Services.

"Netflix quickly adjusts to the new data," Morfit of "ValueAct" recalled. Nadella told him that "he thinks this is very interesting compared to the bureaucratic style established by Microsoft." ”

Reposition Microsoft


Photo: Satya · Nadella and Microsoft former CEO Bill · Gates.

Microsoft sees Nadella's improvement as an opportunity to re-introduce himself to the world. Steve · Clayton, who was the chief spokesman for the company’s public image in the Ballmer era, said: “When you go to Microsoft’s activities, you often find that there are Microsoft’s big banners, signs, lights, and noise. The music, we said that this incident should reflect Satya's style, which is not his real style. ”

Eight weeks after Nadella got the job, he made his public debut at a press conference in San Francisco. He stepped out without any introductory promotional activities. Instead, Nadella was dressed in black and warmly. It was a little low-key clothing, wearing thick black glasses.

This is in stark contrast to Ballmer, who often boasted about it. Before Nadella started referring to TS Eliot, he described Microsoft's goal: "You should never stop exploring. Finally, you will start to yourself. Place and understand this place for the first time. ”

At the press conference, Nadella announced to the public the first version of the Apple iPad, which is a meaningful way for Microsoft to create a new era, even though the software already existed before he took control.

“We don't say ‘using this device",” Nadella told me like this, mentioned Microsoft's Surface tablet and other Windows devices.

The company has long been committed to controlling its ecosystem; it launched ambitious Word, Excel, and PowerPoint software on Apple’s tablet, and Microsoft later introduced a touch-friendly tablet for Windows. All this shows that Microsoft is building a new direction.

"Nadella has brought Microsoft into today's more open and integrated computing environment," said Sun Microsystems co-founder and former CEO Scott & Middot; McNealy said, "He brought to Microsoft." A certain amount of diplomacy. "The company is one of Microsoft's major competitors in the 1990s and is Nadella's first employer."

In 2014, Nadella hired Peggy & Middot; Johnson from Qualcomm, which reinforces this information. As executive vice president of corporate development, her work will strengthen Microsoft’s relationship with Silicon Valley and seek the possibility of reaching agreements with companies that once completely considered competitors, such as Box and Dropbox.

Johnson said: "Satiya has begun regular visits to Silicon Valley, and this matter is new to Microsoft's CEO. He said to me, I hope you can do it both inside and outside of Microsoft. ”

Today, some startups that have not used Amazon Web Services have chosen Azure. Although it is still in a period of fortune, Azure’s revenue increased by 93% in the most recent quarter.

Nadella also updated Microsoft's mission statement. In the words of Bill Gates, "every table has a computer. Every family is using Microsoft's software." With a more modern slogan: "" Let everyone on earth and every organization get more. ”

Then he began to work hard to improve the company to implement this mission.

Every new trend in Microsoft's technology has been continuously attracting, but it has often failed. Like the Zune music player, it became synonymous with failure.

In contrast, Nadella has tended to have ambitious strategic commitments such as Surface, HoloLens, and also streamlined smaller projects such as the Microsoft Bracelet.

Before being named CEO, Nadella first saw this highly confidential HoloLens project. "From what I don't understand to what I think ‘this is the future of computers & rsquo; is what I see The fastest, "Microsoft's mixed reality owner Alex Kipman said," Since then, he has been a strong supporter. ”

Nadella named Ballmer’s $7 billion acquisition of Nokia’s mobile phone business as a “loss” and cancelled more than 20,000 jobs because he believes that Windows will not catch up with mobile devices in the short term. iPhone and Android.

Instead of sticking to the Windows system, Microsoft released more than 100 iOS applications and even accepted Linux’s open source competitor Linux. Microsoft's entry into the Linux Foundation is called the "hell-of-the-world" moment because Ballmer once called Linux "Cancer".

In addition, Nadella bought LinkedIn for US$26 billion. The combination of LinkedIn’s 500 million professional users and 85 million Office 365 users provides Microsoft with a powerful data storage space for insights and analysis. It can be said that this is a valuable, unreplicable Facebook social network or Google search engine (in January 2017, Microsoft acquired a hot product called "Maluuba" in Montreal, and its technology is aimed at Parse this type of data).

"We are very excited about this unique Microsoft artificial intelligence," said Harry Shum, executive vice president of artificial intelligence and research at Microsoft.

Live and learn

Nadella does not seem to have inflated by these activities and achievements, just as he once said to me, when he described the "black horse perspective" that he established during the promotion of Microsoft Corporation. "When everyone is cheering for you, it's time you should feel scared." ”

Nadella's managerial worldview is deeply influenced by Stanford professor Carol

Nadella's wife, Anu, in the years before Nadella became chief executive of Microsoft, let Nadella start reading this book. They found that this book is also useful for helping them become better parents.

But it is easy to see why Nadella applied the book's philosophy to Microsoft. The idea of Microsoft was so fixed that it could be summed up as

After Nadella was promoted to chief executive, he drafted a new declaration for Microsoft employees, after which he consulted Devic and selected some of the themes in her work into the new declaration.

Nadella admits that some Microsoft managers have misunderstood the concept of fixed and growing mindsets, saying they are not changing personality traits, rather than human behavior. He said some of his colleagues even tried to divide the team members into these two categories. However, he believes that most people understand this.

Nadella added that he encouraged all employees to develop, including


Cheng Lili, general manager of FUSE Labs, said:

Cheng recalled his answer with a smile and said:

A rare mistake


The CEO has been through a difficult process of growth in the first eight months of his tenure. He was invited to an important annual event

Aware of his mistake, Nadella issued an apology the next day, writing in an email to Microsoft employees:

But Nadella not only made a wrong decision, he also revealed his prejudice, and forced his executive team to follow his footsteps.

"He said he did not blame anyone. He said to the whole company, & rsquo; We want to learn, we will become smarter ‘. ”

For Nadella, this is a rare mistake, but Microsoft's performance is very good. After that, a senior Microsoft employee told me that the company strengthened internal information transmission, encouraged employees to respect diversity, and tried to reduce unintentional bias. Nadella set an example for other members of the company:We will make mistakes, but we can learn to do better.

Nadella and Hogan's efforts to change Microsoft's way of thinking have also affected others, typically with a beautifully framed aphorism on the walls of Microsoft's headquarters and other subsidiaries in Redmond. For example

The company embodies empathy, inclusiveness and convenience of the small bright spots more and more. A buffet napkin rack encourages lifelong learning for employees (including a

Even the coffee container was part of this effort, when an employee felt that it was an act of disrespect to throw a coffee cup with Gandhi's portrait and inspiring words into the recycling station.

You don't have to be a hopeless cynic to guess how much behavior in a company with more than 120 thousand employees, signs and cups, many of them have been working in the Microsoft Corp before.

Nadella insists, however, that the effort resonates more with re-education than with re-education. He said:

Try new things

Microsoft employees expressed their feelings at the annual hacker marathon, which Nadella called

After visiting Nadella's office in building 34, I went through the Microsoft park to visit the base of the hacking marathon. There, 2000 people, including Microsoft employees, customers and nonprofit guests, and students, were engaged in a passionate project on a folding table in two tents in a football field.

A team is just cleaning up the Windows settings so that it is easier to find and adjust the accessibility features of visual and auditory impairment, and the team wants to prepare something as part of the next updated version.

At first, some people in Microsoft thought it was right to do it. But 30 developers, product managers, researchers and marketers joined the team and they won the company's support because it could win millions of people all over the world.

If you look around on YouTube, you can find a 1993 Microsoft name called

At the Microsoft Build developer Conference in May 2017, Nadella openly discussed the impact of artificial intelligence. During the first few minutes of his keynote speech, George flashed on the screen

Sitting in the audience, I tried to imagine Facebook's Mark.

At the end of his keynote speech, I asked Nadella in a speech at the Washington State Conference Center in Seattle why he chose to speak his artificial intelligence fear.

He leaned forward slightly, smiling and saying:

In June 6th, Microsoft announced the acquisition of an open source platform GitHub for $7 billion 500 million to integrate Azure cloud services with GitHub.

Global community


Photo: US President Trump talks with Nadella and Amazon CEO Bezos.

Nadella's sense of responsibility to Microsoft and the global community is also reflected in politics. When Trump signed his original immigration order in January 2017, Microsoft called it

In June, however, Nadella travelled to Washington, D.C., for the first meeting of the U. S. Technical Committee. The committee is composed of the president's son-in-law Jared

Four days later, I went back to Washington on the other side of the country, and I told him that my editor and I were confused by the look on his face, and he was sitting on Trump's left side, his lips curled up in half, and we wanted to know. What was he thinking? He quickly responded to a statement saying that he supported the American Technical Commission, but in other ways, his answer was

He said:

Most technology company leaders are reluctant to blame the Obama administration, although some in the industry insist that prominent immigrants, such as Nadella, have a special responsibility, especially given Steve Steve, the former chief White House strategist

Anil Dash, CEO of Fog Creek Software, said:

Nadella's new book combines personal memoirs with technological futurism, in which he seems to hint at Bannon's remarks without mentioning his name, he wrote.

He added that he thought his children and friends had to deal with the race

He wrote:

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