The next CEO of Microsoft

Reflexx

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WPCentral has already posted an article stating that Stephen Elop is on the short list to be CEO.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop reportedly on short list.

Let's talk about the implications of that as well as what other names we expect to see batted around. And with those other names, what are the pros and cons?

Is there already a plan that is being put in motion?
 

Laura Knotek

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My preference would be an outsider, not an insider. I think someone who is not entrenched in Microsoft's culture would be best suited for turning the company around by spurring innovation quickly. A long time company man or woman would just keep doing the same-old, same-old.
 

tgp

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My preference would be an outsider, not an insider. I think someone who is not entrenched in Microsoft's culture would be best suited for turning the company around by spurring innovation quickly. A long time company man or woman would just keep doing the same-old, same-old.

I agree. I'm curious though; reports are that Stephen Elop is in the mix. Would he be considered an outsider or an insider?
 

Reflexx

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I'm a fan of getting Elop.

The reason I say that is because he's proven that he can succeed in devices and services. And as we know, Microsoft is now defining themselves as a "devices and services" company instead of a "software" company.

However, in order for Elop to come on board I think MS would have to purchase Nokia. (which may not be something that Finland would like) Taking Elop and leaving Nokia to be guided by someone else could be too risky.

I'm also not opposed to bringing back Sinofsky. He is a real visionary.

Sinofsky was let go because he didn't exactly play well with others. He wanted to be in control of everything. So when other departments had to work with the Windows department there was often a lot of head butting. Sinofsky wanted it his way, and other department heads may have resisted him because there wasn't much of a give and take.

But if Sinofsky was to head the whole company, then it is all under his vision. We could see integration between everything because he'd dictate how it would happen. It wouldn't be about one department trying to gain more power than another by resisting. Instead, they'd all work off of his blueprint.
 

a5cent

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I agree with Laura that an outsider is preferable to an insider, but I'm not sure if it is correct to consider Stephen Elop a long time Microsoft employee. If my memory serves me correctly, he worked at MS for no more than three years. IMHO that puts him in an interesting position. He worked directly under Ballmer, and did so just long enough to understand the ropes, but not long enough to think everything must be the way it's always been, not to mention that he's been on the outside looking in for the past few years, where he certainly has had enough opportunity to figure out what Microsoft should be doing differently in regard to mobile.
 

tgp

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I'm a fan of getting Elop.

The reason I say that is because he's proven that he can succeed in devices and services. And as we know, Microsoft is now defining themselves as a "devices and services" company instead of a "software" company.

However, in order for Elop to come on board I think MS would have to purchase Nokia. (which may not be something that Finland would like) Taking Elop and leaving Nokia to be guided by someone else could be too risky.

I wouldn't be opposed to Elop either. Like you say, he has experience in devices & services. Granted, Nokia isn't doing so well at the moment, but that's more because of their commitment to an OS that has yet to gain a significant foothold in the mobile world. I think they're doing well under the circumstances.

Here's another scenario: would Microsoft consider scaling back in the mobile market? Over the years their bread & butter has been Windows & productivity software. So far their mobile OS's have not taken off. It's currently a very tough market to break in to, and maybe they'd be better off putting their resources towards Windows, Office, and cloud services. But then, the future is mobile, and they probably have to at least have a foot in the door in order to survive down the road.
 

Reflexx

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I wouldn't be opposed to Elop either. Like you say, he has experience in devices & services. Granted, Nokia isn't doing so well at the moment, but that's more because of their commitment to an OS that has yet to gain a significant foothold in the mobile world. I think they're doing well under the circumstances.

Here's another scenario: would Microsoft consider scaling back in the mobile market? Over the years their bread & butter has been Windows & productivity software. So far their mobile OS's have not taken off. It's currently a very tough market to break in to, and maybe they'd be better off putting their resources towards Windows, Office, and cloud services. But then, the future is mobile, and they probably have to at least have a foot in the door in order to survive down the road.

It would be a mistake to bail on mobile.

As you said, mobile is the future.

MS has deep enough pockets to weather the storm.

The original XBOX didn't do all that well, but they kept with it. I expect something similar to happen with Windows Phone... and yes, even Windows RT.

Heck, it even happened with Microsoft Office. When MS Word came out, the industry was dominated by Novell and Lotus. Lotus was huge in Enterprise, and Lotus 1-2-3 was THE spreadsheet to use if you did any type of office work.

But MS just iterates until they win. They make improvements little by little. But they don't stop. They just keep improving and improving and improving.
 

jabtano

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I'm thinking that if they go with Elop they would have to buy Nokia because Nokia would probably go android and I'm willing to bet they would kick Samsung down...my vote is for Sinofsky!
 

Reflexx

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Or maybe if they get Elop, they could throw Nokia a bigger $$ deal to stay WP exclusive for at least another 5 yrs.

They could make Here services the default for all Windows 8 devices.
 

daredevildan

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I can appreciate what Ballmer's done for the Microsoft but seems like the next person really needs to be a visionary to push, push, push. Elop really seems like whatever gear you're in is too slow and if you want to keep up with him then you'd better eat your Wheaties. Would love to see someone with that push because it's going to be needed to get WP over the hump. Once that happens MS has all of the tools to create a great ecosystem that Apple, Google, Linux, whomever will envy.
 

fatclue_98

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I agree with Laura, an outsider would be preferable but given that Bill Gates is still calling the shots from "the press booth", Microsoft needs a strong leader with experience in both mobile devices as well as mainstream computing. Therefore, I nominate Leo Apotheker.
 

a5cent

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I agree with Laura, an outsider would be preferable but given that Bill Gates is still calling the shots from "the press booth", Microsoft needs a strong leader with experience in both mobile devices as well as mainstream computing. Therefore, I nominate Leo Apotheker.

Are you missing the /s on that last sentence? ;-)

Apotheker's first actions would be to sell off the Xbox division and cancel WP development. He's more the IBM/SAP type of person. He'd prefer to sell just high margin services, rather than carry Ballmers' "devices and services" strategy forward, not to mention that he has no interest in the "mundane and cheap" world of consumer computing.

From Wikipedia:

During Apotheker's tenure at HP the stock dropped about 40%. It dropped nearly 25% on 19 August 2011, after HP announced a number of seemingly abrupt strategic decisions: to discontinue its webOS device business (mobile phones and tablet computers), to begin planning to divest its personal computer division, and to acquire British software firm Autonomy for a significant premium.[SUP][14][/SUP] Over the months following Apotheker's departure, HP eventually spun-off the remaining webOS assets into a new subsidiary, Gram; backtracked on any plans to spin-off its personal computer division; and wrote-down almost $9 billion related to the Autonomy acquisition, which it indicated was due to a lack of due diligence during the acquisition process under Apotheker.
 
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Reflexx

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I'd kind of rather have someone that's sort of an insider. Someone that believes in the long term goal, but maybe has better ideas about how to get there.

Mainly, I want someone that believes strongly in the potential of...

Azure - give Amazon a run for its money

XBOX Music/Videos - I'd like to see a Netflix type service from them. But kind of like Netflix on steroids, where there is the option to also watch newer movies for an additional fee. But if you're a subscriber, that fee is cheaper than the regular rental price.

Windows Phone/Windows RT - I'd like to see the difference between these two start to blur. Where it's just mainly the interface that is different due to the size available, but the backend is mostly the same. I'd also love to have some of the swipes from the sides, like the charms bar.

I also want to see the lines blurred in general when using apps. Get a lot of instances of "one app for all MS platforms", and they all share information.
 

fatclue_98

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Are you missing the /s on that last sentence? ;-)

Apotheker's first actions would be to sell off the Xbox division and cancel WP development. He's more the IBM/SAP type of person. He'd prefer to sell just high margin services, rather than carry Ballmers' "devices and services" strategy forward, not to mention that he has no interest in "mundane and cheap" world of consumer computing.

From Wikipedia:

I take it you didn't get my sarcasm.
 

Laura Knotek

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i agree with laura, an outsider would be preferable but given that bill gates is still calling the shots from "the press booth", microsoft needs a strong leader with experience in both mobile devices as well as mainstream computing. Therefore, i nominate leo apotheker.
rofl
 

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