We have taken a different approach to our CEORater Technology CEOs of the Year selection process in 2021. No longer do we call out “Payments” as a separate category given that some of the largest payments flow occurs inside of Technology giants such as Apple and Amazon. We now have three categories: 1.) FinTech; 2.) Information Services; and 3.) Platform Companies. Today we announce the winner of the Platform Companies category:
Platform Companies: Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft (ticker: MSFT).
Azure continues to scale and is number two behind AWS from a market share standpoint. We expect Azure to enjoy not only commercial success in the years to come but increasingly Federal, State and Local government agencies will migrate database and infrastructure software to the cloud. Azure and AWS will win more than their fair share of Government contracts with Google Cloud gaining share over time driven by its superior AI/ML/Deep Learning capability which of course is embedded into its Cloud service offerings (as is the case with Azure, AWS, Oracle cloud and other offerings).
Microsoft’s XBox gaming platform will continue to grow and evolve for decades to come as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are infused into video games (and productivity applications). Microsoft not only owns the gaming platform of choice (XBox), but it owns publishing assets (Bethedsa Softworks). Look for advertising / product placement revenue to become a larger factor in the gaming business for years to come.
From a user standpoint we applaud Nadella’s insistence on a common design language across its Productivity Applications. We would like to see a continued focus on the User Experience for applications/services such as Teams which could have fewer friction points in our view.
September Quarter YOY Revenue Growth: 22%
September Quarter YOY Operating Cash Flow Growth: 27%
YTD Total Stock Return: 51.0%