A Long Overdue Firing at Microsoft


“Satya Nadella has been the CEO of Microsoft for exactly one month and he’s already shaking up the ranks at the venerable tech brand. The company announced Monday that Tami Reller, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer, would be leaving the company,” says BrandChannel.

For this marketer, that’s a great start. Ok; so why do I say so? Simply because Microsoft’s innovation and marketing have been asleep for too long. Can you recall in 1997 Michael Dell of Dell Computer fame, telling Steve Jobs to shut down Apple and give the share holders back their money? At that time Apple was against the ropes and Microsoft, yes Microsoft, rescued them with an “investment” $150 Million in the company that same year?

How times have changed! Who would have believed that Apple would ever surpass Microsoft by most measures of business success. Worse yet, did you miss the announcement last month that Apple software is now in more computers, including iPhones, iPads, MacBooks etc. than Microsoft software?

Where was Microsoft’s innovation and marketing in all of this? Asleep?

New Microsoft CEO Nadella is correct in saying, “Ours is an industry that does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation.” Whereas I don’t comment on innovation, I am mindful of the rise of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), with most Fortune 1000 companies now having such a person. Why? Because it’s the CMO that creates the roadmap for achieving the healthy top line that every firm needs. Not the Chief Financial Officer!

And speaking of the effective CMO, they do not equate advertising with marketing. Instead they have a thorough understanding of marketing strategy and display the skills required to move through the stages from baseline brand recognition > brand consideration > brand preference > to brand advocacy.

Aaahhh! Brand advocacy. Yeah, right, brand advocacy. Hmmmmm. That reminds me: millions the world over consider it a badge of honour to be known as a Mac Addict. An almost cult-like following of the Mac. Now that’s marketing! Helllooo Microsoft! Good start Satya Nadella. Shake off dull sloth at Microsoft and joyful rise to…


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