Microsoft CEO VS Google CEO: Which leader is really better?

Tram Ho

Question: “As a CEO, is Microsoft’s Satya Nadella much better than Google’s Sundar Pichai?”

Answer: Don Dodge, formerly at Microsoft (2004-2009) and Developer Relations (Programmer Relations) at Google (2009-2018)


I have been with Microsoft for 5 years and Google for 9 years, and have witnessed both Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai with my own eyes – long enough before they became CEOs. They are all very good CEOs, but here it is when facing very different challenges .

I think that if they switched places, they wouldn’t work as well. That is, they are the best CEOs for the company they work for.

Both are very smart, quiet, introverted leaders who are thoughtful and know all about their company. They are NOT bossy, loud or obsessive about having to win by. However, they are also extremely focused and driven to succeed.

The challenge with Microsoft and Google is extremely different. If we talk about sales, profits, number of employees, market capitalization, etc., the size of the two companies is quite similar. But Microsoft is an enterprise software company that makes a profit from its copyright revenue, while Google is an internet company that uses its advertising revenue.

Image result for microsoft google

One obvious difference is the immediate effect that Satya Nadella faces at Microsoft, compared to Sundar’s smooth, gradual transition at Google. After decades under the leadership of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Microsoft has a rather aggressive culture, sometimes even toxic. It was Satya who changed that culture at Microsoft so quickly, the morale of people went up and by then the business market was ready to turn to Cloud. The product change happened before Satya took control, but not yet the stock market’s perception. Satya takes advantage of that stock change.

Sundar faces enormous challenges from the EU and regulatory, legal and political issues. Android vs Apple iPhone, Google Cloud vs Amazon Web Services, and all other challenges with YouTube, Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps, etc. are all very painful tasks. Sundar handled everything assertively.

Both Satya and Sundar are the super CEOs that any tech company wants. But I would agree that Satya must have faced more things than he had just started.

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Source : Quora