Ballmer was responsible for Microsoft’s cloud success

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who is widely credited with reviving Microsoft with a move to the cloud, has said that Azure was the brainchild of the shy and retiring former CEO Steve Ballmer.

Nadella told CNBC that Ballmer played a key role in the refocus to cloud.

“The guy who gave me permission to do all this was Steve Ballmer. He wanted us to be bold and go at the cloud very aggressively and that is what we did”, Nadella said.

“One of the key things was that we didn’t even think about Azure as separate from Microsoft 365 or Dynamics 365, or even Xbox Live. We had a vision; after all, we’re a computing infrastructure and platform company, so what is that next generation?”

Vole’s bet on a hybrid world has ultimately paid dividends, despite the consensus a few years ago being that the vast majority of IT would end up in the cloud.

“I used to talk about the edge probably four years ago and people said ‘what is he talking about?’ but now it is conventional wisdom. That is what it takes. You have to have a conviction on where the world is going, you have to make your bet long before the world gives you credit for it and then you have to execute. That is what we have done at every layer of the stack.”