Software superpower Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has turned its fortunes solidly around in the past few years under CEO Satya Nadella, and employee satisfaction has surged as a result.
The change in internal sentiment could propel company growth for many more years, according to UBS, which conducted a survey amongst many top tech companies earlier this year. “The overall results are supportive of our thesis that MSFT has once again become a destination for top tech talent, with annual ratings consistently improving and ahead of peers,” writes the firm.
The shift within Microsoft has been dramatic. At the end of 2013, just before embattled former chief executive Steve Ballmer left his post, Microsoft’s CEO approval rating was just 51%. Current CEO Satya Nadella Nadella took over in February 2014, and in less than two years, that approval rating surged to 88%.
UBS won’t release its latest approval ratings figures until early next year, but it notes that MSFT is performing 10% higher in employee satisfaction than the technology industry average. That satisfaction level is even higher than that of Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), which has long been considered a gold standard in terms of keeping employees happy.
Things aren’t quite as rosy at LinkedIn, however, which was recently acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion. LinkedIn previously set the record among tech companies in terms of employee satisfaction (17% higher than average) and CEO approval rating (95% for chief executive Jeff Weiner). But now, post-acquisition, those numbers have slipped to 11% and 85%, respectively.
Nadella has seemingly revitalized Microsoft, which under his leadership has shifted its focus to subscription cloud-hosted services and away from traditional standalone software. The company’s stock has responded as well, growing about 50% since he took over.
As long as he has his employees on his side, Nadella’s company should continue to attract top talent in the tech space, which can only be good for its future prospects.
Microsoft shares were unchanged in premarket trading Monday at $57.42. Year-to-date, MSFT has gained 3.5%, versus a 4.54% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 during the same period.