Microsoft, in announcing their new CEO, chose a traditional path. Satya Nadella has been around Redmond for 22 years, and has seen various changes over that time. He’s seen the growth of Microsoft, as well as the changing appetites of consumers. From desktop to notebooks, then netbooks to mobile, he’s seen it all in two decades of work.
He likely hasn’t seen what’s next, though. In a statement regarding his tenure as CEO, Nadella essentially says they must figure mobile out. That thing Google and Apple have down pretty cold? Yeah, they need to figure it out. Even Facebook has made an important about-face regarding mobile, and are now producing absolute gold. Bill Gates said Nadella is the right time to lead Microsoft through a “period of transition”, but is he?
One guy we were confident could do that was Sundar Pichai, who was rumored late last week as being in final stages of discussion with Microsoft for the CEO role. Never confirmed or denied, the Chrome and Android chief was a surprise name, and one that concerned us. Pichai is entirely adept at bringing teams together, and has driven Chrome into a state of rapid growth to become the world's leading browser. His understanding of mobile is also top-notch, making him a whole lot of what it appears Microsoft needs.
For a company that really needs to right themselves on the mobile track, we think Pichai may have been the better choice — if he really were available. If he was, and Microsoft passed him up, time will tell whether that was smart or not. We know we’re big fans of Sundar as the Android and Chrome boss, so we’re thrilled to have him stay put at Google.