Practical analysis for investment professionals
07 February 2014

Poll: Is Microsoft’s New CEO the Right Man for the Job?

On the day last August that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unexpectedly announced that he would retire, the company’s shares responded by rising 7%, the ultimate indignity for a departing CEO and a stinging rebuke of his 14-year tenure. Earlier this week Microsoft (MSFT) appointed Ballmer’s successor, Satya Nadella, who previously led the firm’s massively profitable enterprise business as well as its fast-growing cloud computing group. At the same time, founder Bill Gates ceded his role as chairman to director John Thompson and assumed the position of technical advisor to Nadella.

In a poll conducted earlier this week in the CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief, we asked readers what they thought of the appointment of Satya Nadella as the new CEO of Microsoft.

From the viewpoint of Microsoft’s investors, what do you think of the company’s decision to appoint Satya Nadella as its next CEO?
From the viewpoint of Microsoft’s investors, what do you think of the company’s decision to appoint Satya Nadella as its next CEO?


Approximately 40% of respondents to our global poll view Nadella’s appointment as a favorable development for the company’s investors, betting that the 22-year Microsoft veteran’s familiarity with the company’s culture and breadth of experience will allow him to strike the right balance between strategic continuity and innovation. Also, with Gates returning to a more active role, Nadella is seen by many as a safe choice, assuming he is able to chart his own course.

About 11% of respondents see Nadella’s appointment in a negative light, possibly sharing the concerns of some observers that Microsoft needed an external change agent, and an insider is likely to follow the same trend-following business strategies for which the company has long been criticized. Nearly half of respondents, 49%, are reserving judgment, perhaps waiting to see how Nadella goes about transforming the sleepy software giant into a more nimble competitor in the post-PC world.

What do you think? Did Microsoft make the right decision?

Please note that the content of this site should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute.

Photo credit: ©2014 Microsoft


About the Author(s)
David Larrabee, CFA

David Larrabee, CFA, was director of member and corporate products at CFA Institute and served as the subject matter expert in portfolio management and equity investments. Previously, he spent two decades in the asset management industry as a portfolio manager and analyst. He holds a BA in economics from Colgate University and an MBA in finance from Fordham University. Topical Expertise: Equity Investments · Portfolio Management

5 thoughts on “Poll: Is Microsoft’s New CEO the Right Man for the Job?”

  1. Office360 says:

    It’s always better to give the job to an internal guy. Plus BG is back as tech advisor. I hope to see good changes.

  2. prasun kedia says:

    i have read in detail from internet sources about satya and his commitment to microsoft. And i think its a good decision. Hopefully he takes the company to a new level.

  3. Office360 says:

    What does being Right really mean? You mean the CEO choice should have been an American?

  4. Office360,

    Thanks for visiting our blog and contributing to the conversation. It’s unfortunate, and certainly revealing, that you interpreted the question in that manner. Nowhere in this post did I suggest that the right choice for Microsoft CEO was an American.

    1. Office360 says:

      Because I don’t understand why you are taking a poll on a poll already taken. The results are there to see. The markets have responded in a particular way. That’s a lot of feedback already in hand. No need to be thrilled here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.