consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Two boss appointments. Satya Nadella at Microsoft, with Gates to remain present and active. Tina Smith for Lt. Governor, clearly not a do nothing figurehead, after having been staff chief for Dayton.

Smith. A logical choice that's not been made before. Dayton trusts Smith's capabilities, so why not her in case he croaks or gets shot or something. He's seen her work, appreciates her mind and people skills, so a sound decision.

Talking Idiots will say she's not balancing the ticket, it's a snub of the iron range, she's Rybak's person, a background of Planned Parenthood work is distasteful to the talking idiot and friends, all that, but in the end, they remain talking idiots. And they likely will run an idiot pairing against Dayton-Smith. And hopefully that opposition pairing will lose. The last part is uncertain.

Nadella. Another choice based on a known person and a respect for capability. Strib reports:

Nadella, head of Microsoft's cloud computing business, was named Tuesday to be Steve Ballmer's immediate replacement. He is only the third chief executive in Microsoft's 38-year history.

The 22-year Microsoft veteran has enlisted the help of company founder and first CEO Bill Gates, who is leaving his role as chairman to serve a more hands-on role as an adviser at Nadella's request. Gates will spend a third of his time working on products and technology.

[...] Nadella is a technologist, fulfilling the requirement that Gates set out at the company's November shareholder meeting, where the Microsoft chairman said the company's new leader must have "a lot of comfort in leading a highly technical organization."

Born in Hyderabad, India, in 1967, Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 after being a member of the technology staff at Sun Microsystems.

Partly because of his insider status and the fact that both Gates and Ballmer will remain among Microsoft's largest shareholders and company directors, analysts are not expecting a quick pivot in the company's strategy.

[...] Nadella will be well rewarded. Securities filings show he will have a target annual pay package of $18 million, as well as a one-time stock award with a value aimed at $21.8 million. But that could increase if the company performs well.

One area his tour of duty at Microsoft hasn't touched is its flagship Windows operating system for PCs. Windows 8 has not revived the PC market as expected, mainly because keyboard-and-mouse users have found it difficult to navigate the touch-first interface, which uses large tiles. Analysts expect Microsoft to merge its Windows Phone and Windows RT operating system for lightweight tablets into one system to appease software developers and consumers alike, while restoring some familiar navigation tools to the computer-based version of Windows.

An interesting pair of leadership choices made at about the same time.

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