Satya Nadella reveals one of his biggest mistakes as Microsoft CEO

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OCTOBER 25, 2023

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said that giving up on developing Windows phones was a serious mistake. The 56-year-old had written off $7.6 billion related to Microsoft’s acquisition of the Nokia phone business a year after taking over as CEO in 2014.

In an interview with Business Insider, the Indian-origin CEO admitted that Microsoft’s “exit” from the phone business could have been handled better. “The decision I think a lot of people talk about — and one of the most difficult decisions I made when I became CEO — was our exit of what I’ll call the mobile phone as defined then,” he told the publication when asked about a strategic mistake or decision he might regret. “In retrospect, I think there could have been ways we could have made it work by perhaps reinventing the category of computing between PCs, tablets, and phones.”

This makes Satya Nadella the third Microsoft CEO to admit to the company’s mobile mistakes.

Microsoft co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates said his “greatest mistake ever” was the tech giant losing to Android. Even Nadella’s predecessor Steve Ballmer admitted in 2013 that he regretted not focusing on the phone much earlier.

“I regret there was a period in the early 2000s when we were so focused on what we had to do around Windows [Vista] that we weren’t able to redeploy talent to the new device called the phone,” The Verge quoted Balmer as saying. “That is [the] thing I regret the most.”

The former CEO was slow to respond to Android and the iPhone threat, focusing the company’s efforts on Windows Mobile while famously laughing at the iPhone, calling it the “most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard.”


Courtesy:  Moneycontrol