The appointment of Satya Nadella as CEO may have been top of the press release agenda for Microsoft this week, but hidden among this news was something else that is set to be huge for Microsoft – the return of Bill Gates in an enhanced capacity at the company.
According to Microsoft, the first job of Nadella was to give Gates a role that sees him shift from Chairman to Founder and Technology Advisor.
With this position comes more time devoted to the company, working alongside Nadella on shaping Microsoft's future product and technology direction.
Having Gates back among the day to day activities will be a massive boost to Microsoft and, if early forecasts are correct, the computing company's share price as well.
Gates is certainly pleased with his new position, explaining: "I'm thrilled that Satya has asked me to step up and I will be substantially increasing the time I spend at the company.
"I'll have over a third of my time available to meet with product groups and it will be fun to define this next set of products working together. So there's a lot of opportunity in front and it is exciting we have a strong leader to take us there."
This is all part of the new Microsoft. Or, as Nadella puts it, a 'do more' Microsoft. In his first interview as CEO, Nadella said: "We have always positioned ourselves as the 'do more' company and I want to bring this forward. I want everyone of us to find more meaning at work. We spend far too much time at work for it not to have deep meaning."
What will this mean for Microsoft going forward? Well, Nadella says that Microsoft is "mobile first, cloud first".
"Everything is becoming digital and software driven – I see the opportunities unbounded and we should be able to pick our unique offering. That is where our heritage of being a productivity company and us now being a 'do more' company comes in.
"We should be able to give every individual and organisation the opportunity to get more out of their lives and that is something that we are focusing on."
Nadella ends with a statement of intent, noting: "I think we have the best platform to change the world."
He will have to do a lot more to convince the rest of the world that this is indeed the case but stepping up Gates' role goes a long way towards this.
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