Before improving the world, companies must enhance their internal processes. The cultural factor is undoubtedly something deeply ingrained in a company, and changing it is not an easy task, especially if the company is over 40 years old and has more than 40,000 employees. Microsoft needed to be rejuvenated to survive.
“Listening was the most important thing I accomplished each day because it would build the foundation of my leadership for years to come.”
Satya Nadella took over as CEO of Microsoft in 2014, tasked with bringing a new identity to the company, transforming its culture, and achieving better results for its investors. At the time, strong decision-making was required, as just two months into his new role, Nadella had to lay off 18,000 employees, the largest layoff the company had ever seen.
Nadella’s leadership style is admired by employees. In 6 years of management, he managed to more than triple its market value, unify departments that previously competed against each other, integrate products, engage people, and most importantly, keep everyone on the same purpose: “One Microsoft.”
The cultural shift was necessary for the company to advance its strategic objectives. Nadella speaks about Microsoft, saying, “The company’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Everything we do, every product we build, every technology we incubate. It all has to be driven by a deep sense of this mission.”
Microsoft has been a different company since Satya Nadella’s arrival, and the strategies he implemented allowed for close engagement with the developer community and IT professionals in general. Not to mention the simplicity, empathy, and humility he shows, a true leader.