Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella praised for being ‘confident’ and calmer than Steve Ballmer

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella praised for being 'confident' and calmer than Ballmer during first public appearance

February 4th – Satya Nadella was named as Microsoft’s newest CEO, taking over Steve Ballmer’s role in leading the initiative towards a devices and services company. Fast forward to March 27th – Nadella had his first public appearance as the CEO in a press event where he announced Office for iPad. So how did he do? It seems Nadella’s first keynote was a hit with analysts.

“He was very confident, obviously a whole different character than Ballmer. Much calmer. Both he and Julie White [a general manager for the Office technical marketing team] spoke very quickly, as if they had a sense of urgency, which they should have,” said Carolina Milanesi, strategic insight director of Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, in an interview with ComputerWorld.

Nadella spoke about the company’s “mobile first, cloud first” strategy during the press event on March 27th and Milanesi believes Nadella did a great job. “For the first time I actually see a strategy,” Milanesi added.

Other analysts praised Nadella’s confidence and clarity during his keynote. “He articulated this emerging strategy. He made it clear that this [Office on iPad] was only a piece of the overall strategy,” Ross Rubin stated. He is an independent analyst with Reticle Research.

“I was very impressed. First off, I was really glad to see that his first appearance was about Office running on a competing platform. That’s a big break from the old Microsoft pattern of always pushing the overall Microsoft stack at every opportunity,” Rob Koplowitz said. He is an analyst with Forrester Research.

“I was very impressed with Nadella on stage,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “He was very professional, poised, and seemed like a man on a mission.”

Although Nadella was likely a bit nervous, especially considering when he kept saying ‘uhh’ in every sentence during his opening, he did a fantastic job in his keynote in my opinion. After all, who wouldn’t be nervous during their first public appearance? He got straight to the point and delivered his message with confidence. 

If you missed the press event, you can watch an on-demand version of the event here. How do you feel Nadella did during the event? Did Microsoft make the right choice in selecting him as the CEO?

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