Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella smilingSource: Microsoft

What you need to know

  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is the Financial Times Person of the Year.
  • The Financial Times points towards financial and cultural success by the Microsoft CEO.
  • Nadella shifted the direction of Microsoft over the past decade, culminating in a solid 2019.

The Financial Times named Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella its Person of the Year. The Financial Times highlights both Microsoft's financial success and its cultural shift led largely by Nadella. Since Nadella became CEO of Microsoft six years ago, the total return generated by the company for shareholders is over one trillion dollars.

The Financial Times states that Microsoft "looked like it might be on the fast track to technological irrelevance" when Nadella took over. They give credit to Nadella for helping create the "new purpose at the heart of the company, as well as a corporate culture that reflects the personal qualities of a chief executive more given to humility than the intellectual arrogance the company was once known for." Nadella oversaw a shift in Microsoft's strategy, migrating from a heavy reliance on a tech monopoly centered around Windows towards a company focused on the cloud.

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Nadella took Microsoft back to its roots of being a company that creates software that other companies use, according to the Financial Times. Nadella says that the "fundamental notion that we build tools, build platforms so that others can build more technology, I think is more relevant, more needed in 2019 than it was in 1975."

Inside Microsoft, the Financial Times points out that Nadella's willingness to collaborate spearheaded a culture change, "In a company defined by intense rivalries, naked displays of ambition and cut-throat competition, Mr Nadella's unassuming and collaborative style stood out. It has been central to the new culture he has tried to bring to the company."

The Financial Times piece on Nadella takes a deeper look into his approach to running Microsoft and how his nature spreads throughout the company.