A new CEO typically means a great deal of upheaval and uncertainty for a company, but Microsoft's hardware partners appear confident its appointment of Satya Nadella will lead to change for the better. Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing leads a charge of congratulatory comments by expressing his company's "tremendous confidence in Satya's expertise."
"We have a long-standing, deep relationship with Microsoft, and are grateful to Steve for his partnership over the years. At the same time, we have tremendous confidence in Satya's expertise, experience and leadership. Lenovo looks forward to many more productive, innovative and exciting years working with Microsoft to deliver outstanding products to our customers." — Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo CEO.
Michael Dell is similarly effusive in his appraisal of the new man in charge, describing him as an "outstanding choice." Notably, Dell's comments begin with an expression of joy that Microsoft has concluded its CEO search. As much change as Nadella may or may not bring to the software giant, Microsoft's future path is now much easier to forecast with Ballmer's successor in place. And that might be the most important aspect to this executive change for all of Microsoft's PC hardware partners.
"We are pleased that Microsoft has concluded its CEO search by naming Satya Nadella as Steve Ballmer's successor. We know Satya well. His strong combination of engineering innovation and business acumen make him an outstanding choice to lead Microsoft into the future, and we look forward to working with him in his new role." — Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell Inc.
LG, Samsung and HTC: "no comment"
What will be more intriguing over the long term, and far less straightforward for Nadella to negotiate, is Microsoft's relationship with mobile device makers. LG refused to comment on Microsoft's new appointment, however sources familiar with relations between the two companies say they haven't been helped by Microsoft becoming a smartphone manufacturer. A similar radio silence is in effect from Samsung and HTC — both declined to comment — and there's been persistent speculation about their displeasure with Microsoft prioritizing Nokia as its main Windows Phone partner. With Nokia being brought in-house, Nadella is likely to have a tough time convincing these phone-makers to stick with Microsoft's mobile platform.
We have reached out to all of Microsoft's hardware partners, both big and small, and will update this article with their comments as we receive them.
"We are thrilled at the choice Microsoft went with. Satya has an incredible technical background, but where we feel he’s best suited is in his lack of being involved with too many areas of the company prior to being named CEO. In this regard, we believe Satya can bring fresh perspective to Microsoft as a whole. While some have said that Satya lacks the experience of running a public company, we believe that this is actually going to be his biggest asset. This would be like a fresh reboot for Microsoft.
"Sometimes when you start over fresh, you let go of the burden of knowing everything, and are free to rediscover and reinvent. This is where Microsoft is now, and we think it’s an amazing place." — Tuan Nguyen, iBuypower.
"I'm happy to see that Microsoft promoted Satya Nadella from within and we are very excited to see how the PC gaming community, and all PC users, can benefit from his experience with connected devices and cloud centric services. I’d love to see things change so that PC gamers and users can actually have access to their entire library of purchased games and apps, regardless if it was purchased on any PC, console, or mobile device, so that everything feels like one giant ecosystem across all devices." — Kevin Wasielewski, Origin PC CEO.
"We’re excited to see fresh new talent taking charge at Microsoft. Microsoft has always been behind the market with missed opportunities, hopefully that will change now. The future is definitely the progression of cloud computing and how computers merge with smartphones, tablets, etc. We’re looking forward to Satya Nadella’s inspiring approach in cloud computing to help create a better Windows experience for our products." — Harjit Chana, Digital Storm Chief Brand Officer.