There are two sides to a coin, there always are. Okay, three, if you want to be really picky, but you get the drift. And let’s just say while the reaction to the Satya Nadella appointment has been mostly positive, there are some that think the company should have tried a different route.
One such voice is of Joachim Kempin — yes, that very guy that had a big plan to save Microsoft, thought the company needed an outsider CEO, considered Ballmer a great COO, said that the former head was planning to kill the PC industry, and used to bring baseball bats to meetings.
Pretty vocal for a former executive, eh?
Well, he has weighed in on the Nadella appointment, and is now back with a bunch more negative comments. For the record, he worked at Redmond from 1983 to 2002, so he is somewhat acquainted with the new CEO.
Anyway, he has made it clear that he does not think too highly of this recent upper management change at the company. In fact, he goes on to call Nadella just “a sheep, a follower”, while maintaining that he does not expect to see any major innovation at Microsoft.
Brace for impact, people:
“This reminds me of the pope — only gestures, and no real reform to be expected.”
Dan Lyons has quoted him on his blog, where he talked about this change, and predicts that there will be a lot of shadow boxing between the new CEO and the other guys in the upper echelon of management at the software giant:
“Most interesting, he can neither spell CONSUMER nor DEVICE. He is a softie, and he is a big business serving guy. His stated goal is to bring innovation faster to market. No track record there either. The best way to do that is to sell some parts of the company and get rid of a lot of fat. He won’t do that either.”
Trimming some fat is not that bad an idea — but selling some of the more important parts of the company is a road that could lead nowhere, neither in the short nor the long term.
Unless, of course, the idea is to make Microsoft a company with exclusively an enterprise focus.
You can read up on the complete conversation the link above, but this much is clear that every major step that Satya Nadella takes from now on will be carefully (and ruthlessly) scrutinized.