Daily Management Review

Power At The Workplace Should Not Be Abused, Says Microsoft CEO Nadella


Executives of companies should not abuse the power that are allocated to them, believes Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
This was the first comments from a top executive of the company following media reports about Bill Gates, the co-founder and original CEO of Microsoft, had been engaged in a  sexual relationship with a company employee in 2000.
Since Nadella took over as CEO in 2014, there has not been much controversy involving Microsoft. His image is that of a thoughtful leader who has been instrumental in reinvigorating the company within a very competitive tech industry. He has had to tackle complexity only on very rare occasions.
Currently however he is trying to tackle and deal with a controversy that was caused by his predecessor for his actions two decades ago when Nadella was one of many vice presidents in the company.
“Overall, the power dynamic in the workplace is not something that can be abused in any form, and the most important thing is for us to make sure that everybody is comfortable in being able to raise any issues they see, and for us to be able to fully investigate it,” Nadella said in a television interview.
According to reports, a board committee of Microsoft conducted an investigation with the help of a law firm over a report about Gates had attempted to start an intimate relationship with an employee in 2000. This had happened in the second half of 2019.
Reports on the investigations were published last weekend by the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal a few days after the announcement by Bill and Melinda Gates about them getting divorced after 27 years of marriage.
He believes that since 2006, there was a policy that prohibited improper behavior among executives at Microsoft, Nadella said
Nadella also stressed on how the company had evolved since he had taken over reign of the company. For example, he deemphasized Windows while adding integrations with the Linux open-source operating system – once perceived to be a competing platform.
“The Microsoft of 2021 is very different from the Microsoft of 2000,” he said.
“To me and to everyone at Microsoft, our focus on our culture, our diversity, our inclusion, and in particular the everyday experience of our people, is super important. It’s a huge priority. And not just in the abstract sense. It’s about the lived experience. This is about being able to confront your fixed mindset each day so that we can improve,” Nadella added.
“And in that context, the fact that anyone can raise any issue, even an issue from 20 years ago, we will investigate it, take action to the satisfaction of the person who has raised it,” he said. “We have no forced arbitrations,” he said.