Shares of Microsoft inched upward in early morning trading after Satya Nadella was named CEO. The 46-year-old — a 22 year veteran of Microsoft — is just the third CEO of the company. And he takes the role with little experience managing the day-to-day intricacies of a public company, something that could cause some fear on Wall Street.
But, for now, the stock is up slightly to $36.53. That gives Microsoft a $303 billion market value, following a 33 percent run in the past 12 months.
Nadella’s appointment was one of the hot topics this morning on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, with stock picker Jim Cramer pontificating on the change. In Cramer’s view, Microsoft has tons of opportunity, suggesting that the stock is “inexpensive” and “deserves to be a little higher.”
“I just think that they need someone to shake things up because Microsoft may have been the most squandered opportunity company of our era. They had it all. IBM did not have it all. Microsoft had it all,” said Cramer, adding that the company never really recovered from the Justice Department’s antitrust case.
The TV host said Microsoft has not “done terribly and they have paid some good dividends, but I think the company is worth $50″ if they capitalize on key areas.
Meanwhile, Dennis Berman of The Wall Street Journal noted on the show that the company could be driven more by Bill Gates than by Nadella. He called Nadella an “unproven quantity,” and said that there are some “real questions about what this company is,” adding that the new CEO would probably have a hard time summarizing Microsoft’s business in one Tweet.
“What is Microsoft? It tries to be too many things to too many people, and that will be Nadella’s challenge,” said Berman.