After a search process that seemed as drawn out as a season of American Idol, Microsoft decided to stick with an insider to replace Steve Ballmer in the software company’s top job. A 22-year veteran of the company, Satya Nadella was EVP of the Cloud and Enterprise group, and formerly oversaw the Bing search service. Microsoft also says that Bill Gates will become more active in a new role on the board as Founder and Technology Advisor, where he’ll help Nadella “in shaping technology and product direction.” An independent director, John Thompson, will replace Gates as board chairman.
The execs have their work cut out for them: Over the last five years Microsoft shares have lagged rivals led by Apple and Google as the company’s Windows-based products struggled to find a foothold in the world of smartphones and tablets. “The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform,” Nadella says. “A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.” Gates says that Nadella is the right pick because he’s “a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth.” Here’s the company’s release:
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Bill Gates‘ net worth of $72B enabled him to claim the top spot on the Forbes tally for the 20th consecutive year — followed by Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett ($58.5B), Oracle’s Larry Ellison ($41B), and then Koch Industries’ Charles and David Koch ($36B). While Buffett fattened his holdings the most over the last year, adding $12.5B, the recovery in Facebook’s stock helped to boost Mark Zuckerberg‘s net worth by $9.6B to $19B lifting him 16 spots to No. 20. Once again, the list is heavy with names from the tech world — but at least 28 media execs had a net worth of at least $1.3B, the highest amount needed to qualify for the top 400 since 2008. Bloomberg LP founder Michael Bloomberg, who also happens to be mayor of New York, had $31B, putting him in 10th place, same as last year. Cox Communications’ Anne Cox Chambers, with $13.5B, was 29th (+3 on the list), narrowly beating Rupert Murdoch and family $13.4B (at No. 30, +6). Dish Network’s Charlie Ergen follows at $12.5B (No. 32, +7). Advance Publications’ Samuel Newhouse had $8.9B (No. 46, same as last year) ahead of brother Donald’s $8.2B (No. 52, -1). There’s a tie at No. 61 with the $6.7B net worth for Cox Enterprise’s Jim Kennedy (same rank as last year) and Liberty Media’s John Malone (he’s -4 spots on the list). Other media names include: Read More »
Will Hollywood Book Biopic Of Steve Jobs?
As a tribute to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died yesterday, TNT will preempt its primetime lineup for two back-to-back airings at 8 PM and 10 PM of its 1999 original movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, the only film to date that portrays the technology innovator. It follows the race between computer rivals Apple and Microsoft and stars Noah Wyle as Jobs, Anthony Michael Hall as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Joey Slotnick as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Hollywood arrived at the annual Allen & Co investment conference in Sun Valley today — but I don’t know why. It’ll be a showbiz snorefest. Because only ”A Conversation With Oprah Winfrey” is scheduled and no one is interested unless she comes clean about how much money she’s caused Discovery’s David Zaslav to piss away. That’s a departure from last year when showbiz came back into favor at Camp Allen because of an “Entertainment Panel” consisting of Barry Diller, Peter Chernin, Jeff Katzenberg, and Bobby Kotick (the CEO/president of Activision Blizzard). The YouTube/Twitter types will participate in “The New Breed” panel. And Bill Gates interviews Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Otherwise, there’s an emphasis on overseas: ”Building A Business In China” confab, “Mexico Today”, “The Middle East”, a sit-down with Jordan’s King Abdullah II (who just endorsed a Cabinet reshuffle on Saturday in the wake of scandals and resignations), a confab about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a how-to panel on “Managing Global Enterprises in Turbulent Times”. Also speaking will be Brigadier General Loree Sutton (the highest ranking psychiatrist in the US army), New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and panelists for ”Managing Hyper-Growth Companies”. Gone are the Friday night dildos. Or the sandwich boards for out-of-work moguls. Gawd, Camp Allen isn’t worth covering anymore.
The Toronto International Film Festival has rounded out its film roster, which has swelled to nearly 250 films. The fest filled out its Discovery, Masters, Contemporary World Cinema and Visions and Vanguard programs, but the additions that jumped out to me were the naming of the Mavericks who’ll take part in discussions about their work. Top of that list is Bruce Springsteen, who’ll be interviewed by Edward Norton when The Boss comes to Toronto for the world premiere gala screening of The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town. Springsteen will discuss the film and the making of his seminal 1978 disc, as well as the relationship between his music and filmmaking. His songs are fused to memorable moments in films that include Jerry Maguire and Philadelphia.
Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash will discuss his directorial debut on Into the Wind, an hour-long documentary about Terry Fox, a Canadian icon who, after losing his leg to cancer, tried to run across Canada to raise funds and awareness to battle the disease. Nash, one of Canada’s most famous non-hockey sports exports, made the film for ESPN’s 30 for 30 Series.
Bill Gates is among the participants in a panel discussion being held by An Inconvenient Truth director David Guggenheim … Read More »