Why Nadella is the right CEO for Microsoft in an age of big data and bigger platforms


Anyone questioning Microsoft’s decision to appoint Satya Nadella as CEO should really read this job listing. It’s for a deep learning position at Amazon.com, working within the Kindle division on computer vision. Or maybe this one, for a senior software engineer in the Amazon Web Services gaming team who’s familiar with advanced machine learning techniques.

Microsoft is still very much a platform company, but its competitors are a whole lot bigger, badder and cloudier than in the desktop days of yore. It needs someone at the helm who understands how modern platforms are built and will evolve. With years running Bing and Windows Azure under his belt, Nadella is that person.

No disrespect to other candidates whose names were floated around, such as Ford CEO Alan Mulally, but taking on General Motors is not preparation for taking on Google.

We’ve covered Microsoft’s focus on machine learning before, but…

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