Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella tops Juniper Research's new ranking of the most influential executives in the technology industry, testament to the company's own comeback (at least in part) to some of its former influential glory. (Remember the adage "You can't get in trouble for buying Microsoft"?)
"Leaders, innovators and visionaries have always been at the heart of the technology sector," according to Juniper. "Their choices, actions and investments influence the direction and pace of the industry."
Juniper ranked 10 tech executives that it believes will have the greatest impact not only on their own companies but on the entire tech sector in the next year. The executives were chosen based on eight criteria:
- Innovation: How new, differentiated and disruptive their contributions are to the industry
- Scalability: How easily their contribution can be applied to multiple markets and product types
- Reach: The impact the person and his/her contribution has on a geographical scale
- Business model: The crunch side of innovation--how new is the business proposition of the person’s contribution
- Personal capital: How much the person’s individual connections, personality, philosophy, etc. complements his/her business
- Outside impact: The probable impact that the person’s contributions will have on his/her sector outside the growth of the business
- End user impact: How big a difference the contribution will make to the lives of end users
- Vision: How complete a picture of the future the person can make--do they make a convincing case for the applicability and/or potential of their product?
Juniper notes a number of ways in which Nadella has made a significant difference in the industry--influence that will affect future direction of the industry:
Windows 10, due this summer, will make Microsoft a platform-centric company, with experiences on the OS transferrable across devices.
Nadella’s vision of Windows 10 and the new services it offers is likely to be very cloud-centric, based on his background with the cloud and enterprise.
Nadella is focusing the company on Windows-as-a-service to meet users’ needs; in practical terms, he intends Windows services to be platform-neutral. This will result in a different development process at Microsoft moving forward, adds Juniper.
Rounding out Juniper's top 10 are:
2. Jony Ive, Apple Chief Design Officer
3. Min-Liang Tan, RazerCo-Founder & CEO
4. Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO
5. Reed Hastings, Netflix Co-Founder & CEO
6. Jack Ma, Alibaba Founder & Chairman
7. Paul Eremenko, Google ATAP Director
8. Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder & CEO
9. Elon Musk, Tesla Chairman & CEO
10. Lei Jun, Xiaomi CEO
What do you think about Nadella in the No. 1 spot? Does he belong there? Why or why not? Please let us know in the comments section below.