Satya Nadella on His Microsoft Job: I Run the Place, Bill Gates Just Helping

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At the Code Conference yesterday, Nadella explained that while Bill Gates remained a very important person for Microsoft and its employees, he was the one “running the place” and the company’s co-founder was only helping.

Back in February when Satya was appointed the new Microsoft CEO, Bill Gates agreed to return in a more active role and took over the technical adviser job to work with the leadership team on new products.

“I think Bill’s presence, Bill’s push, Bill’s high standards are helpful. But there’s no confusion. I run the place. Bill’s helping,” Satya Nadella pointed out.

Bill Gates spends one day every week at Microsoft, but according to Nadella, most of his time is being used for meetings with employees.

“He spent all day today at Microsoft in meetings. The founder of a company can galvanize people in ways that another CEO can’t. He’s got some specific interests on Office and how to reinvent it. He’s got an agenda which I subscribe to,” Nadella pointed out.

“We definitely are going to have more people coming to Microsoft. At the end of the day, though, it is about the renewal of the place. He wants people to focus on what they can say ‘yes’ to rather than saying ‘no.’”

Bill Gates, who’s now holding the role of technical adviser, was one of the key figures linked with a potential return at Microsoft in the CEO position, as many people believed that the company’s co-founder is the right person to bring it back on track and regain users’ lost trust after the controversial Windows 8 and Surface.

Gates, on the other hand, denied a full-time return at Microsoft and said that he only wants to help the existing leadership team with new products. At the same time, he recently sold more of his Microsoft stock, a move that turned former CEO Steve Ballmer in the largest individual stakeholder at the company.

Bill Gates, however, explained that he would no longer sell any shares in the coming years, but Steve Ballmer would remain the number one shareholder at Microsoft if he doesn’t decides to do the same time anytime soon.

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