Under new CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft is working hard to shed its reputation of a clumsy player, struggling to keep up with new tech trends and consumer habits. And the efforts are shwoing. Microsoft has surpassed Exxon Mobil to seize the rank of the second most valuable company, behind Apple Inc. Under new CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has worked hard to overcome its reputation of a clumsy player, struggling to fight new technology trends and consumer habits. Nadella has gone in for cost cutting, while pledging to refocus the company on mobile technology and cloud computing. His efforts have led to a surge in share prices which have driven Microsoft's total market value above $410 billion, more than Exxon's f $404 billion.
Currently, Apple is the most valuable company globally, with a total market capitalization of more than $ 668 billion. That's more than the $ 616 billion that Microsoft was worth when it was the No. 1 company in December 1999. Fresh on the job, Nadella faces challenges with a company that's heavily dependent on the declining market for personal computers. But compared with other longtime tech stalwarts like IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle, Microsoft has done a good job. Its stock has risen nearly 70 % since April 2013, when ValueAct Capital took a $2 billion stake in the company.
Within a few months, longtime CEO Steve Ballmer announced his retirement. Since then, Nadella has announced new initiatives in cloud computing, which promises to be more lucrative than selling software for clients' computers. Microsoft has also promised a redesign of its Windows operating system and has released popular software for smartphones and tablets, including devices made by Apple.
Microsoft shares have outperformed the NASDAQ composite index, which gained 45 % overall in the same 18-month period. The Microsoft stock hit $ 50.04 on Friday, its highest point since early 2000 to close a little lower later.