Posts tagged ‘Microsoft’

04/02/2014

Microsoft Names Satya Nadella as CEO – India Real Time – WSJ

Microsoft Corp. has named company veteran Satya Nadella as its next chief executive, an appointment that comes as the software giant faces competition across all fronts of its business.

The company also said founder Bill Gates, who previously was chairman, moves to a new role on the board as technology adviser and will devote more time to the company, supporting Mr. Nadella in shaping technology and product direction. John Thompson, who was formerly the lead director, will become chairman.

Mr. Nadella’s naming to the post, effective immediately, makes him the third CEO since the Redmond, Wash., company was founded in 1975. He succeeds Steve Ballmer, who in August announced his plans to retire. Mr. Ballmer was originally handed the reins in 2000 when founder and college friend Bill Gates stepped aside after 25 years.

The appointment of Mr. Nadella, who is 46 years old and leads the Microsoft division that makes technology to run corporate computer servers and other back-end technology, will be considered a safe choice. He has signaled a desire for continuity, telling directors that, as CEO, he hopes to lean on Mr. Gates, according to several people familiar with the matter. Little in Mr. Nadella’s public history at Microsoft suggests he will break from the company’s pattern as a fast follower, rather than a trend setter.

via Microsoft Names Satya Nadella as CEO – India Real Time – WSJ.

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21/06/2013

China’s Manufacturers Seek Ways to Cut Costs

Wage inflation and shortage of skilled labour is making outsourcing less easy to justify.

BusinessWeek: “In the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai, two hours by ferry and car from Hong Kong, there’s something new on the rooftop of the large factory complex owned by outsourcing specialist Flextronics International (FLEX): solar panels.

A worker on a communications equipment assembly line in Shenzhen, China

Flextronics first opened shop in Zhuhai in 1999, when the area was a backwater compared with Shenzhen and other industrial hot spots closer to Hong Kong. Today the company’s 50,000 Zhuhai workers produce Microsoft (MSFT) Xbox game consoles, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) printers, Nike+ (NKE) FuelBands and other electronics. With wages rising quickly throughout Guangdong province along the coast, Flextronics managers must save money wherever they can. “Instead of paying the electric company, I’m able to generate my own electricity,” says Melinda Chong, general manager in charge of infrastructure operations.

A little savings here, a little there—that’s the new focus for multinationals that manufacture in the Pearl River Delta and other coastal export hubs. The country’s one-child policy is taking its toll. The number of working-age Chinese in 2012 fell by 3.45 million, to 937.27 million, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. While that’s just a small drop, it’s the first decline since record-keeping began and marks “the start of a trend expected to accelerate in the next two decades,” the Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin wrote in a June 11 report. “China no longer has an inexhaustible supply of young workers.”

China’s government is also mandating big raises: In 2012, 25 provinces increased the minimum wage by an average of 20.2 percent. The current five-year plan ending in 2015 calls for base wages to increase by an average 13 percent a year, part of a policy to address growing income inequality. Coping with mandated wage increases is “very tough,” says Carmen Lau, Asia vice president of human resources for Flextronics. Even when companies offer higher wages, they still find it difficult to hire workers since fewer young people are interested in toiling on factory floors. “We have a smaller and smaller pool” of potential recruits, Lau says.

Some of the biggest electronics manufacturers have relocated to other parts of China where workers are more plentiful and there’s space to grow. “They can’t get land in the Shenzhen area, so they have to be somewhere else,” says Cynthia Meng, an analyst in Hong Kong with Jefferies (JEF). Foxconn Technology (2354), the Taiwan-based maker of iPads and iPhones for Apple (AAPL), has expanded away from the coastal regions. There are 250,000 to 300,000 workers at a Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou in the central province of Henan, according to the company and Bloomberg Industries. Hiring in the interior has helped the manufacturer boost its workforce in China by 50 percent in two years, to 1.2 million.

Wages are going up in the interior, too. “The cost differential is merging very, very fast,” says Jitendra Waral, a Bloomberg Industries analyst in Hong Kong. “If you move inland, it’s not really saving you costs any which way.””

via China’s Manufacturers Seek Ways to Cut Costs – Businessweek.

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