The first thing to note is that Microsoft’s emergence as the most valuable company in the world on Tuesday morning was short, as Apple rebounded quickly, however Microsoft’s resurgence over the last four years has not been short-lived. They have tripled their stock price from $37/share in Feb 2014 to a peak of $114/share in Sept 2018, currently at $108.31/share.
What made the difference?
Microsoft put an MVP (Most Valuable Person) in Life in charge — Satya Nadella.
Satya demonstrates all of the characteristics of on MVP outlined in my new book: How to Be an MVP in Life. As a Microsoft MVP I have had the privilege of listening in person to this inspired leader at a Microsoft MVP summit.
On an individual Level
In this way we can see Satya listening to a coach — Carol Dweck — to believe that we can all grow instead of believing that we are fixed, which lead to his strategic shifts at Microsoft to openness, to the cloud, to a subscription model, and investing in AI. This was far more than Ballmer’s declaration that “We are all in” when it comes to the cloud.
He has persevered through challenges. When he took over at Microsoft PC sales had just experienced the “worst decline in PC market history.” (Gartner Group Jan 2014).
On a team level he has
Passed the ball and given his teammates a chance to shine. Satya turned people loose to pursue whatever technology would help — witness Microsoft’s embrace of Linux which competes with their sales of Windows licenses. Microsoft started to play well with others!
Praised his teammates on numerous occasions including when Kevin Turner left Microsoft.
Cares about more than just work — in 2016 he pledged Microsoft to donate $1 Billion worth of cloud services to non-profits and university researchers. He also serves on the board of a non-profit, Hutch, aimed at solving cancer.
Also not to be underestimated is Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to the Microsoft MVP program with independent voices and expert opinions.