Few leaders appreciate the difference between size and influence like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Since taking over the top job in February 2014, Nadella has brought a new direction and mind-set—and an increase of 11 percent, to USD $67.7 billion, in this year’s Best Global Brands ranking.
This new Microsoft has partnered with the likes of Apple and Salesforce to leverage each other’s strengths, putting its own executives on stage at their big events. The new Windows 10 platform lets developers make apps that work across different devices and migrate what they’ve built for Android or Apple devices into Windows with relative ease. To make its ecosystem more desirable, Microsoft is generating real excitement with developments like its HoloLens 3-D headset, which brings holograms to life through Windows, and has teamed up with Facebook-owned Oculus to let fans play Minecraft on a virtual reality headset.
For its Windows 10 launch, Microsoft adopted the theme of “Do great things.” Reinventing the experience shows its understanding of today’s digital lifestyle—using technology to help the people alongside it achieve everything from the simple to the progressive. It celebrated the five million fans who helped test the OS by hosting events in cities around the world, and partnered with retailers like Best Buy to help users transition to the new OS. Microsoft speaks to the future of humanity via a brand campaign that features babies and prompts people to imagine what the future might be for them, given that they will “grow up with Windows 10.”
Since Microsoft launched its new, aligned identity, it has continued to drive greater cohesion across the many Microsoft experiences—and restructuring has been a big part of this. Microsoft brought together its Windows and devices organizations in an attempt to align its engineering structure to its strategy as it began its 2016 fiscal year, resulting in some leadership shifts. On the commercial side, it’s bringing together its commercial businesses with a focus on the cloud—a move that’s grown revenue by 88 percent, driven by Office 365, Azure, and Dynamics CRM Online.
Nadella’s goal: to “Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”