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Is Satya Nadella a billionaire, if not why not?


Investors are happy with Nadella as well: Microsoft’s stock has risen nearly 182 percent since Nadella took over, according to FactSet.

“If you look at the stock’s more than doubling in value, clearly one could argue he’s underpaid relative to the wealth creation he’s been able to do in the stock,” said Brent Bracelin, managing director at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

“They have been able to transform one of the legacy client-server models, and they’re now becoming the leader in cloud across IaaS [infrastructure as a service] and SaaS [software as a service], and he’s done it, yet, look at his comp.”

Microsoft’s perception has improved in Silicon Valley, too.

When Nadella took the helm, Steve Herrod, a former VMware executive and now managing director at venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners, didn’t have any Microsoft apps on his phone. Now Herrod has nine Microsoft apps on his phone, and he believes Microsoft has the best mobile email app: Outlook.

One start-up Herrod invested in, Impira, chose Microsoft’s Azure cloud because the team thought Microsoft’s cloud-based artificial intelligence capability was better than what was available from the Amazon and Google clouds, Herrod said.

“From all perspectives, he’s done an outstanding job, and a top-five CEO should have a commensurate package,” Herrod said of Nadella.

The company is more open and flexible now, and assets like LinkedIn and GitHub have given Microsoft meaningful data, said Gordon Ritter, founder and general partner of venture firm Emergence Capital.

“If I were on the board of Microsoft, I would say, ‘Did he really look at things differently than those that came before and actually interrupt the natural processes that were going on?’ And my answer is yes, compared to the interruptions Tim Cook did do or didn’t do. I would say he interrupted and changed the course of Microsoft in fundamental way.”

Given that, Ritter said Nadella would be deserving of some kind of additional grant.

“I think everybody feels good about Satya as CEO of the company — Bill and Steve and the company’s board of directors,” Silverberg said. “They should thank their lucky stars that that’s who they hired as CEO.”

Microsoft didn’t respond to a request for comment.

WATCH: Microsoft CEO: We’re in the midst of a massive transformation

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