New chief, another one-word slogan for Microsoft; Ballmer walking on stage at a conference in 2006, sweat staining his armpits and chest while he passionately bellowed, “Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers!”

New chief, another one-word slogan for Microsoft

Published 05 February 2014 18:04, Updated 06 February 2014 10:20

Nick Bilton

You might remember a now-famous scene with Steven A. Ballmer, then the chief executive of Microsoft, walking on stage at a conference in 2006, sweat staining his armpits and chest while he passionately bellowed, “Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers!”

It looks as if the new Microsoft, which is now being run by Satya Nadella, the chief executive who is taking Mr. Ballmer’s place, has an updated mantra: “Innovation. Innovation. Innovation. Innovation. Innovation.”

In a flurry of media that began flowing out of Microsoft on Tuesday announcing the new C.E.O.’s role, the word “innovation” peppered news releases, videos and internal emails.

In an email sent by Mr. Nadella to Microsoft’s nearly 130,000 employees, the word innovation echoed across the page. “We need to prioritize innovation,” he wrote in one sentence. “We need to bring more innovation to bear,” he wrote in another.

While being interviewed in a promotional video, Mr. Nadella used the word three times in one paragraph. When asked what he plans to do now that he is in charge of the software giant, Mr. Nadella answered with that word once more.

“Ruthlessly remove any obstacles that allow us to be innovative; every individual to innovate,” he said, as he strolled through Microsoft’s offices.

“And then, focus that innovation on things Microsoft can uniquely do.” Just to be sure that we heard those words correctly, he then added that he wants to be able to take the company’s “innovation forward.”

Even Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder, who will become a technology adviser to Mr. Nadella, got in on the action. In a video posted on Microsoft’s YouTube page, Mr. Gates welcomed Mr. Nadella, while dropping a few “innovation” bombs.

“Microsoft has a long history of innovation,” Mr. Gates said in the video. Later in the 104-second clip, he said that in the various business groups where Mr. Nadella worked, he has “driven innovation.”

The word was also echoed in a Microsoft news release: “A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly,” Mr. Nadella said.

In the same press release, Mr. Gates said the new appointment was part of the company’s “next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth.”

And, of course, a Microsoft theme wouldn’t be complete without Mr. Ballmer’s passion.

In a video welcoming Mr. Nadella to his new role, Mr. Ballmer effusively said, “I know Satya will lead this company into the future,” a future that, he noted, is going to include “innovation.”


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: