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Microsoft’s new CEO – opening the window to a fresh start?
Microsoft’s newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella faces a number of challenges as he takes over leadership of the technology giant. In recent years Microsoft has been criticised for failing to adapt quickly enough to technology trends such as the switch to mobile. Microsoft has been criticised for being too reactionary with its new technology products, and for bringing new products to market too late to be able to secure a large market share. This has been partly blamed on the company’s need to be more conservative than competitors to appease its huge institutional investors. Nadella has key decisions to make about the company’s strategy as he attempts to steer the company forwards.
Microsoft has suffered several embarrassing setbacks in recent years, particularly in its attempts to establish itself as a major player in the tablet and smartphone markets. Microsoft has failed to make significant inroads in Apple and Samsung dominated markets and was forced to take a $900m wrtitedown on its Surface tablets inventory as it reduced the price by 30% in an effort to drive sales. The company has also encountered significant problems with its Windows Phone mobile operating system, and has failed to gain a significant share of the market accounting for just a 2.5% share of smartphone operating system sales in 2012.
Microsoft is still a leader in its core businesses, but its forays into the mobile hardware market have been underwhelming. Microsoft announced the purchase of Nokia’s handset business in September 2013, signalling the company’s determination to improve its fortunes in the smartphone market. Whether Nadella is able to lead Microsoft to achieve where it has previously failed remains to be seen.