Previously, some suggested that if Microsoft picked an unproven insider — like Nadella — they would be tag-teamed with a more experienced executive, perhaps from the board. Gates' renewed focus, even if only part time, proved those rumors right as well.
But Moorhead thought it was still a good idea. "Nadella will need to be augmented by someone with a lot of consumer experience and success," Moorhead said.
Whether Gates is that person — he has been away from Microsoft since 2008 and in his time as CEO showed little finesse for consumer products — is unclear.
Ballmer, for one, was excited at Nadella's promotion. "I am pumped for the future of Microsoft," he said in a separate statement.
Then Baller urged on the troops he no longer commands. "Stay focused and keep moving forward," said Ballmer. "I am excited about what we will do. Satya's appointment confirms that."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.