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Inside Scoop: Why Microsoft named Satya Nadella CEO

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Inside Scoop: Why Microsoft named Satya Nadella CEO

4:04 /

In this Inside Scoop, CNET's Kara Tsuboi and Charlie Cooper discuss Microsoft's new CEO. Hear why Satya Nadella is right for Microsoft's top job and why Microsoft's top job is right for him.

-Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Inside Scoop. I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET.com. I'm joined by Charlie Cooper, executive editor of news.com. Thanks for joining us, Charlie. Microsoft has just named its brand new CEO to replace Steve Ballmer, Satya Nadella. Tell us a little bit about the man. -Well, he's an up-and-comer. He's a 22-year veteran of Microsoft, a very technical and accomplished executive, a bit of the Bill Gates, more of the Bill Gates more than Steve Ballmer, and his appointment is being welcomed by the rank-and-file as well as by the outsiders who have been waiting after nearly six months of this ongoing endless search to replace Steve Ballmer. -Let's break that down a little bit. First of all, 22-year veteran, why do you think Microsoft looked inside versus looking outside of the company? -Well, they did both. -Okay. -There-- There were, over the last several months, instances they, at one time, attempted to lure in the CEO of Ford-- -Uh-huh. -Alan Mulally that went nowhere. The CEO of Ericsson was also mentioned as a candidate. But Microsoft, very much like the New York Yankees in 1927, they've got an excellent bench and Satya Nadella was one of the many people that they were looking at. What would recommend him for this job is that he's an insider, he knows where the skeletons are buried. -Uh-huh. -He doesn't need to be reintroduced to a culture-- a corporate culture that he's not familiar with. People know what to expect and he knows where the problems are and presumably he can lead them to that nirvana that they're hoping to arrive at. -And you mentioned that he's a technical guy, a little closer to Gates than Ballmer. Explain some of his technical background and why that is such an asset. -Sure. Well, he made his chops by doing a very accomplished job as the head of the Server and Tools Business, more recently helping to push them into the cloud where Microsoft now, even though they got off to an uncertain start, they now compete against Amazon. That's a big business. He understands that Microsoft can't keep doing what it had been doing up until recently with Windows being the franchise. He needs to move the company in a way so that it can navigate successfully in this increasing world of mobility. -Uh-huh. -And he understands that very well. -Moving forward, where do you see Nadella moving this company as far as like products and, you know, consumer-facing businesses? -Well, he has to make some decisions sooner rather than later, primarily what to do with the Xbox business and what to do with being the search business. -Uh-huh. -Several months ago, you started to see this drumbeat from the investor community and from outside shareholders looking to increase shareholder value, your publicly traded company. There had been calls, concentrate on what you do best which is the enterprise, get rid of this consumer stuff, there are probably any number of potential buyers. I'm not sure that he's gonna come in to break it up. Bill Gates who had a big hand in this selection didn't want to choose a new CEO who's going to deconstruct his handicraft. So, it remains to be seen. -And speaking of Bill Gates, he's going to even play a bigger role with the company now that Satya is CEO. Is that correct? -One third of his time, he says, will be spent with Microsoft. It's a good thing for Nadella because he won't-- Gates will no longer be on the board, so Nadella will not be in this potentially uncomfortable position where they can be in a board meeting and staring at the other-- at him from the other end is the legend himself. But who better to bounce technical idea is often the co-founder of the company. -So, to bring back a baseball metaphor which you said that this is a home-run selection. -I would say, right now, it's a three-bagger but-- -TBD. We'll see. All right, thank you so much, executive editor of news.com, Charlie Cooper. I'm Kara Tsuboi. Thanks for watching the Inside Scoop.

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