It seems I've been overlooked as the next Microsoft CEO in favor of Satya Nadella, whom I mentored in business strategy during our forced rehabilitation at Sing Sing. He was a little too quiet back then, but he could make a mean batch of toilet wine.
I'm somewhat mollified by the email Satya sent to employees yesterday, which made Microsoft's news site so that fodder-rabid columnists like me would link to it. The email was designed to be inspirational and calming to Microsoft employees, to soothe their fear of new leadership selling their particular division to Google or Kim Jong-Un. The letter succeeds because it has all the right characteristics of a good inspirational CEO crowning.
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First, it's long enough to numb the mind, throws a shout-out to a defeated rival (not me, unfortunately), brims with plenty of backhanded hubris like "my thirst for knowledge," and talks in depth and with much enthusiasm and buzzwordiness about Microsoft's future without actually saying anything. The only real insight into the new Microsoft CEO you'll get from this missive is that he seems to have an inordinate affection for the one-sentence paragraph.
It's a grammatically incorrect device designed to emphasize a particular point, Satya.
You should use it sparingly.
Microsoft's upward spiral
A lot of pundits and analysts think that Satya's promotion is the first -- or at least the latest -- sign of Microsoft's impending doom. They're probably right. After all, the company has been pumping out multi-billion-dollar profits for only three decades and is obviously on its way to irrelevance in all its newest product categories, like cloud, services, mobile devices, and game consoles. It's not at all crawling inexorably to market dominance in any of those areas.
But it's time for me to face the music: Though I was truly the best candidate for the Redmond tippy-top boss man position, I was beaten out by someone with more experience and business savvy, paltry traits at best when compared to my talents at word weaving and liquid aristology (look it up). This begs the question that must be weighing on the minds of millions.
What's next for Cringely?
Thanks but no thanks, Amazon
Surely, now that I've been in not-at-all imagined contention for a CEO position running a major multinational corporation, other job offers will start flooding in. I've opened an IaaS account with AWS just to handle the additional storage I'll need when my inbox begins to grow exponentially. I would've opened it with Azure, but that ship sailed. Besides, I'm probably on the short list for Bezos' job when he's ousted after one of his demonic flying spider-drones strafes a school yard -- best to start showing solidarity now.
However, I can't limit myself to Amazon as a potential target for my future C-suite. I need to carefully consider my best possibilities with other massive technology companies that will obviously fail soon without the wise, innovative, scotch-glass-laden hand of Cringely to guide them.