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Microsoft, once a near-monopoly for PC operating systems and with a dominant position in office software sales, achieved incredible growth within just three years - tripling its market cap while nearly eliminating PC OS costs and rising PC sales by over 32%! This remarkable turnaround shows how far technology companies can come. Under Nadella's leadership, Microsoft embraced open source by joining the Linux Foundation and purchasing GitHub - a leading open-source repository. Hierarchies were reduced so engineers can act more like startups and pursue opportunities more rapidly. What Led to Microsoft’s Bold $500 Billion Revenue Target? Satya Nadella, an Indian-born cricket fanatic who took over as CEO of Microsoft in 2014, has had a major effect on the company. He's reinvented its future with bold strokes. He made Microsoft more collaborative by inviting in teams from outside and organizing internal hackathons where engineers collaborate on any projects they conceive of. He transformed Microsoft from an insular organization reliant on Windows operating system and Office products to an expansive global cloud computing powerhouse with Azure infrastructure. Change requires both audacity and commitment from a giant. For instance, Microsoft stopped updating their aging Windows OS and wrote off $7 billion invested in Nokia's me-too smartphone business to free up engineers for other projects. Furthermore, they abandoned one-time license bookings in favor of per-user consumption payments for Azure instead. It also ended the practice of ranking employees according to how much revenue they contributed, restructuring leadership teams and shifting emphasis from product towards customers. Nadella has overseen an extraordinary turnaround at Microsoft; during his nearly five-year leadership, its market cap has seen double digit gains putting it on par with those of Apple, Alphabet, and Amazon. These bold moves are helping drive impressive revenue growth as Microsoft continues to transition its core business models into the cloud. Commercial cloud revenue from Azure, Office 365 Commercial and Dynamics 365 increased 17 percent year-on-year during the second quarter, which helped offset Windows non-Pro revenues dropping 13 percent due to business PC market returning back to pre-Windows XP end of life levels and new lower priced devices entering the market. 1. Nadella’s Bold Vision Microsoft was in dire straits when Nadella took the reins as CEO in 2014. Morale was low, PC sales had dropped precipitously and it hadn't managed to respond effectively to mobile devices and search platforms; Apple had even overtaken Microsoft as the world's most valuable corporation just four years prior! Nadella made it clear early that Microsoft's future didn't lie in supporting Windows for as long as possible. He began dropping "Windows" from its cloud product name, freeing Office from being tied to Windows, and making bold bets such as purchasing LinkedIn to demonstrate this commitment to innovation and risk-taking. Nadella excels at communicating a compelling vision for his company to his employees on an ongoing basis, keeping them fully aware and invested in its mission. Furthermore, Nadella advocates open and candid communication as essential tools for driving innovation and creating teams capable of working effectively together. Nadella's vision and leadership have helped transform Microsoft into a dominant cloud services provider and the second most-valuable corporation worldwide. He accomplished this through fundamental shifts to business strategy, opening up partnerships within the company, acquiring high-profile companies, and changing culture toward increased collaboration and inclusion. However, some still argue that Microsoft has yet to realize its full potential despite this progress - I disagree that those people are missing the bigger picture. 2. Nadella’s Bold Strategy Nadella's innovative strategy was propelled by significant organizational and compensation changes, an emphasis on cloud-based software subscriptions, an increase in investments into technologies like virtual reality and machine learning and the hiring of top talent engineers - most significantly Nadella himself who restructured hierarchies freeing engineers to explore and experiment while encouraging an environment which valued innovation over bureaucracy and rigidity in order to quickly respond to sudden opportunities or threats within his company. He encouraged Microsoft to embrace mobile devices and cloud computing - two fields it had long left behind - while also betting big on artificial intelligence, realizing that technology isn't always a zero-sum game and companies can gain by cooperating rather than viewing competitors as competitors. He accomplished this through opening Microsoft up to working with former adversaries like Apple as well as acquiring high-profile startups while creating an inclusive internal culture within Microsoft itself. Nadella advocated a clear vision of the corporation's future by sharing it with employees regularly and soliciting their input. His leadership style was distinguished by courageous yet transparent communication, humility and the ability to energize teams. This approach was key to the company's success and other leaders can learn from his example and apply similar skills within their organizations. These efforts resulted in a company once thought to be heading toward irrelevancy reclaiming its position as the second most-valued corporation worldwide, thanks to Nadella's bold leadership and bold ambitions: personal computing, reinventing productivity and business processes and creating an intelligent cloud platform will continue to fuel Microsoft's future success. 3. Nadella’s Bold Culture Nadella's visionary leadership and strategy are instrumental to Microsoft's resurgence, surpassing Apple and becoming one of the world's most valued technology firms. However, his transformation of the culture at Microsoft was also instrumental in its turnaround. Nadella arrived as CEO in 2014 to find his company suffering from a lack of innovation and poor morale, its Windows OS losing ground to Google and Apple while it failed to capitalize on mobile device use, search, and social media trends; Microsoft had also fallen below $300 billion market value, losing out to Apple as world's most valuable technology company. Under Nadella's leadership, Microsoft transitioned to cloud computing by changing their license model from perpetually recouping initial investments into an ongoing revenue stream via subscriptions. They also focused on developing innovative technologies that empower people and organizations worldwide; revamping internal culture so as not to assume all knowledge existed while increasing emphasis on learning new things instead. Nadella took measures to streamline departments and foster cross-divisional cooperation to promote customer focus and innovation, changing organizational structures so marketing teams could become involved early in product development and product managers now sit in on meetings between testing/design teams. As demonstrated during his recent Stanford GSB View From the Top presentation, his ability to articulate vision and invigorate an organization are important skills other leaders can emulate. According to him, leadership requires harnessing energy to meet change's challenges - something which takes empathy, humility, employee engagement, diversity of thought promotion and an overall learning mindset mindset to accomplish successfully. 4. Nadella’s Bold Leadership Nadella has articulated a bold new vision for Microsoft. It involves positioning it as an end-to-end platform and tools provider with a hybrid operating model built upon cloud and edge computing, featuring artificial intelligence (AI). However, charting a course through such an enormous technology giant as Microsoft can be daunting task. Naderella took on an organization with a diminishing reputation and an ever-shrinking share of the global tech market. Windows and Office, once key product franchises, had stagnated while license revenue stream was being eclipsed as businesses turned toward smartphones and cloud solutions for computing needs. Microsoft was overdue for an overhaul, and Nadella has been instrumental in its transformation. His leadership skills include empathy, humility, thinking big and caring about people; prompt execution; courage; and a growth mindset - essential qualities of any great leader. Nadella made his first priority to improve Microsoft's image. No longer publicly criticizing rival OSs or declaring adversaries as enemies, Microsoft now embraces an array of open-source technologies including rival operating systems and has even formed partnerships with former adversaries like Apple and Salesforce. Nadella then prioritized innovation. He liberated Office from being dependent on Windows, dropped "Windows" from their cloud product lines, and made it a priority to ensure Microsoft was creating solutions to meet the challenges presented by mobile technology. Nadella also fostered a more collaborative culture at Microsoft. He regularly communicated with all employees in order to explain his vision for Microsoft and collect feedback, while emphasizing team chemistry and collaboration across departments to develop products customers would want. Furthermore, he discouraged any aggressive behaviors by never sending angry emails and declining to raise his voice during meetings.