Microsoft's (MSFT) decision to name Satya Nadella as its third CEO in 39 years has some tech insiders wondering if the company is quietly moving away from its consumer business and refocusing its attention on corporate clients. Nadella, a 22-year veteran of Microsoft, has been in charge of the tech behemoth's server and cloud computing division, a staid but profitable segment of the company.
Microsoft has struggled with its consumer-based products, spreading itself too thin and falling behind the tech gadget curve, says Yahoo Finance's Jeff Macke.
"Microsoft has made a lot of noise about becoming a consumer company," argues Macke in the above video clip. But the company has been "trying to be a little bit of all things to all people for too long...it can't satisfy both the enterprise (business) and everyday customer."
Microsoft's business products -- Excel and Office -- are still in high demand with small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. But the company has failed with tablets and smartphones, devices that are deeply popular with consumers. For example, Microsoft sold $893 million worth of its "Surface" tablets in the holiday quarter -- a blip compared to Apple's $11.5 billion worth of iPads. Consumers purchased about a million Surface tablets last quarter versus Apple's 26 million.
Nadella told employees in a letter Tuesday that the company is "headed for greater places" and it's their duty to make sure "that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world." He continues:
"The opportunity ahead will require us to reimagine a lot of what we have done in the past for a mobile and cloud-first world, and do new things," he writes "Our industry does not respect tradition -- it only respects innovation. This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft. Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places -- as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world."
Nadella replaces Steve Ballmer, who announced his retirement last August. Ballmer took over as CEO for Microsoft co-founder Bll Gates in 2000. Gates has officially stepped down as chairman of Microsoft's board; he will now advise Nadella on technology-related issues.
Watch the video to see what Aaron Task and Macke think about Bill Gates' decision to step down as chairman of Microsoft.
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