back to article Brit-boy Bates is Silicon Valley's pick for Microsoft's CEO

Could a Briton end up running quintessential American multinational Microsoft, the world’s largest software company? Or, put another way: could an exec who only briefly ran a small loss-making telco end up in charge of a $73bn business? Why the hell not, if you’ve got the Silicon Valley mindset. London boy Tony Bates, born …


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  1. bigtimehustler

    In the Valley yes it is all about Vision...the problem is I would say for the past 10 years Vision has been entirely absent from Redmond, so perhaps a visionary is what they need and not someone practical, so that they don't miss the next bandwagon that comes along.

    1. btrower

      Vision: Should just have bought spectacles


  2. Alister

    Ah, young Master Bates, come in, come in...

    Maybe they misheard his name, and think it's Bill's son...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe they think it's Ken Bates.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge


        Norman, especially when redundancies are eminent!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      B.Gates - the G is silent

  3. Ralph B

    $20,000 budget?

    > The closest Bates has come to running anything like Microsoft was running various operations at Cisco, where he was in charge of $20,000 budget and 12,000 staff.

    I'm guessing that should be $20[b|m]illion ... ? $20k wouldn't keep 'em in paperclips.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    since when is Redmond

    in Silicon Valley?

    Perhaps the El Reg hack should get their eyes tested?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: since when is Redmond

      the hot favorite among Silicon Valley types

      possibly you should get your eyes tested too and read the article. it's not saying that those in Redmond have chosen Bates, just that those in Silcon Valley think that he's the man for the job.

      Seems wierd to ask the people who have nothing to do with the company in question what they think, but there you go.

  5. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    The Valley... notable for not including Redmond, WA.

    I wouldn't trust the hunches of anyone labelled a "Silicon Valley Insider" when it came to succession within Microsoft, because I don't believe that any of them understand how large businesses operate outside of that strange parallel universe of the Bay Area. In the Valley, Microsoft is defined (and vilified) as being Not One Of Us.

    My equally uninformed hunch is that it'll be Mullally, who I expect will carry out a major restructuring and streamlining, then hand over to a new candidate three years from now.

  6. Oh Homer

    Sillycone Valley's prick for Microsoft's CEO

    Here's my Top 10 most suitable pricks for the job, in reverse order:

    10. Dead Steve Jobs (hey, even a corpse can't do any worse than Fester)

    9. Carly Fiorina (ditto)

    8. Larry "Everyone Else Must Fail" Ellison (because ... everyone else will FAIL. Obviously)

    7. Keith B. Alexander, director of the NSA (they practically already own Microsoft anyway)

    6. Tom Cruise (because he likes cult scams, and is "the only one who can really help", after all)

    5. Sarah Palin (for having a similar sense of "diplomacy" and "ethics" as Fester)

    4. Nyan Cat (pointless, monotonous and disturbingly compelling, just like Windows)

    3. Richard Stallman (because he'd emancipate all that oppressed, proprietary software ... then do nothing with it for 20 years, until people abandoned it, moving on to something better. Finally!)

    2. Russell Brand (Master of the Art of popularising and selling unpalatable concepts, word-salad bandit who'd give even the most hardcore marketese-gibberish linguist a headache, and all-round funny guy)

    1. Gene Hunt (fictional character and notorious "armed bast'd" who bears a striking resemblance to a Mancunian version of Fester, both in attitude and demeanor, albeit with more hair)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sillycone Valley's prick for Microsoft's CEO

      Jobs isn't dead, he's just restin'. Pining for the fjords.

      Nobody in their right mind would have 'paedo' Stallman as their CEO.

    2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Sillycone Valley's prick for Microsoft's CEO

      Wot, no love for Steve Bong?

      He really should be number 0 of your list. A perfect fit for the modern-day Valley.

  7. Arctic fox

    Hi guys! Can we please have a little more.....

    ..........reportage and a lot less "Hello!" magazine?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mulally is just Ballmer MK2

    While its fashionable to mock Ballmer he was never as incompetent as people made out. Microsoft constantly increased revenues while he was CEO and has demonstrated the same positive attributes you listed for Mulally.

    Ballmer's failings were that he missed too many boats and reacted to change instead of leading it and Mulally has yet to show he's any different. Microsoft is losing ground, not profits and they don't need someone who can fix the ship, they need someone who can build a new one.

  9. Ian Michael Gumby

    Just a small nit...

    Did the El Reg reporter forget that Elop was an exec at Microsoft prior to going to Nokia?

    While everyone is betting on who's next, remember that Microsoft isn't in the Valley, but sitting way up north in a different state. And a different state of mind. ;-)

    But yes, I can see where a Brit trade rag would want to root for one of its home town heroes. Its only natural.

    But don't forget that Elop is Canadian, no?

    And well if he's not French Canadian, he's the closes thing to a Brit, no?

    So he could be a bastid son of the UK and you'd still win.

    Just trying to put the positive spin so you don't feel bad when Elop gets the job. ;-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just a small nit... @Ian Michael Gumby

      "Just a small nit..."

      Yes, you are coming across that way.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby

        Re: Just a small nit... @Ian Michael Gumby

        The point is that the author portrays Elop as a Nokia man. Not as a former exec and insider to Microsoft.

        Rumour has it that Elop left Microsoft to gain CEO experience so he could prove himself ready for the job.

        With the ok'd acquisition of most of Nokia... he's back to being a Microsoft exec.

        That's what's missing from the article.

    2. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: Just a small nit...

      I'm pretty sure the article thoroughly detailed exactly what percentage of fuck all Bates has achieved in order to be linked with the job apart from already be there and be "different". I still have no idea what "to engage" actually means but maybe he's qualified to do it whatever it is.

      Oh wait, run the world's biggest software company? The ground counts, yes?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition...

    Expect heads to roll as the worker pay for managerial mistakes. I figure between 40 - 50,000 of those 130K workers will be let go.

  11. Paul J Turner

    Tony is a bold choice...

    That's 'Bold' as in 'Courageous' then?,_Minister

    [How to guide ministers to making the right decisions]

    Sir Humphrey: If you want to be really sure that the Minister doesn't accept it, you must say the decision is "courageous".

    Bernard: And that's worse than "controversial"?

    Sir Humphrey: Oh, yes! "Controversial" only means "this will lose you votes". "Courageous" means "this will lose you the election"!

  12. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge


    Is his nickname Gilbert?

  13. jimbo60

    I care less about who than what

    Whomever is chosen, will that person please stop Microsoft from making everything they touch worse than it was before? And please don't allow anyone, including yourself, to screw up Nokia's excellent phones.

  14. Bogle

    As a techie

    As a techie (well, software developer) I like the sound of Bates. Bootstrapped himself, no degree, gets the tech, knows something about getting products into the market. Seems genuinely interested in what I might want from MS.

    Also, I can't imagine him dancing around the stage like U. Fester, oh dear no. British, dear boy!

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: As a techie

      But who would he flog Microsoft off to for 10x it's real value?

  15. Levente Szileszky

    Highly unlikely...

    ...especially if you consider what kind of an utterly clueless mess Cisco became during the past few years.

    He has no relevant experience, period.

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