Why Microsoft needs to look within for a new CEO?

Microsoft needs to look within for a new CEO since the software giant has a number of seasoned professionals who can step into the shoes of Steve Ballmer.

Also, adapting to Microsoft’s new strategies may take time that will harm the growth of the software empire built by Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, who will retire within 12 months. ( Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer letter to employees on his plan to retire )

The main challenge to the new CEO will be to decide whether Microsoft should follow Apple or Google. It may not be able to successfully succeed both since Apple’s product segments and directions are being challenged by Samsung and others.

Microsoft needs to challenge Google since the search engine giant has started eating into Microsoft’s share in several areas — enterprises, online advts, mobile and tablet OS, etc.

Microsoft’s present success can be primarily attributed to its innovation and ability to bring software that is lifeline for enterprises and consumers. The software major thrived thanks to huge marketing and sales spend in the last several years.

Microsoft’s sales and marketing (S&M) budget has always been ahead of research and development (R&D). In FY 1994, Microsoft invested $610 million in R&D against $1135 million in S&D.


In FY 2000, Microsoft’s spend in R&D was $3772 million against $4126 million in S&M. In FY 2005, its R&D spend was $6097 million against $8548 million in sales and marketing. Microsoft invested $8714 million in R&D as compared with $13214 million in S&M.

In FY 2013, Microsoft spent a whopping $15276 million in sales and marketing against $10411 million in research and development.

In the current fiscal, Microsoft needs to invest heavily in both sales and product developments since the new strategies involve new products and solutions that connect with consumers and enterprises.

From 2000 to 2013, Steve Ballmer steered sales and marketing to support a number of innovative products. The culture needs to continue after 2013 as well. Hence, Microsoft needs to look within. There are several candidates within Microsoft. ( Steve Ballmer and his emergence as Microsoft CEO )

Microsoft top leaders

Microsoft COO Kevin Turner leads the company’s sales, marketing and services organization of more than 47,000 employees in more than 190 countries.

Under his leadership, the sales and marketing group delivered more than $77 billion in revenue in fiscal 2012. In his eight years as COO, Turner has driven a strong track record of results, execution excellence and improved efficiency while also driving the customer satisfaction scores to the highest in company history.

Tony Bates

Tony Bates, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Business Development and Evangelism group, is responsible for the company’s relationships with key OEMs, strategic innovation partners, independent software vendors and developers. He also leads Microsoft’s corporate strategy team.

Amy Hood

Microsoft CFO Amy Hood is responsible for leading Microsoft’s finance organization, including acquisitions, treasury activities, tax planning, accounting and reporting, and internal audit and investor relations.

Prior to this role, Hood was chief financial officer of Microsoft’s Business Division, responsible for the company’s productivity applications and services including Microsoft Office 365, Office, SharePoint, Exchange, Dynamics ERP and Dynamics CRM.  During her time in the Business Division, Hood helped lead the transition to the company’s Office 365 service, and she was deeply involved in the strategy development and overall execution of the company’s successful acquisitions of Skype and Yammer.

Julie Larson-Green

Julie Larson-Green leads the Devices and Studios group with responsibility for all hardware development including Xbox, Surface and accessories. She also oversees Microsoft Studios, which includes development of games, entertainment and premium content experiences for all devices across the company.

In 20 years at Microsoft, Larson-Green has been involved in defining products and customer experiences that touch more than a billion people, from developer tools in her early years to multiple versions of Internet Explorer, Office and Windows. In each role, she has balanced breakthrough design, such as the Ribbon in Office and the full redesign of Windows from the chipset to the experience, with a deep understanding of current customer needs and expectations.

Larson-Green most recently led the product planning, design and delivery of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, including the transition to a more collaborative cross-company rapid development and updating process. Her leadership responsibility extended from program management, design, research, development and testing across all international releases of Windows to Internet Explorer, Windows Services and Microsoft Surface.

Terry Myerson

Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Operating Systems group, has the responsibility for the strategy and development of operating systems. Myerson and his team are responsible for building the software platform and experiences that are showcased in Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox devices worldwide.

Prior to leading the Operating Systems group, Myerson led the Windows Phone Division. Since launching in 2010, Windows Phone has won multiple industry awards for design and innovation, including awards for the best smartphone OS and highest in customer satisfaction by PC Magazine.  Previously, Myerson led the Exchange team for eight years, during which time it became the world’s most popular business communications system.

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella is executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company’s computing platforms, developer tools and cloud services.

Nadella and his team deliver the Cloud OS, Microsoft’s next generation backend platform. The Cloud OS platform also not only powers all of Microsoft’s Internet scale cloud services (including O365, Bing, SkyDrive, Xbox Live, Skype and Dynamics) but also fuels global enterprises around the world to meet their most challenging and mission-critical computing needs.

Tami Reller

Tami Reller is executive vice president of Microsoft’s Marketing group, responsible for marketing to consumers and businesses globally. Since joining Microsoft in 2001, Reller has held several positions within the company. Most recently, she was both chief marketing officer and chief financial officer for the Windows division.

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