Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood got investors to look beyond Windows and the PC
Clad in jeans and a gray sweatshirt, Amy Hood stands before a room of 140 Microsoft Corp. recruits. It feels a bit like the first day of school, and new hires are taking selfies outside in front of a big Microsoft logo. Hood tells the crowd that her job as chief financial officer is not simply to balance the books and plan spending. “My kids will tell you I practice counting, but my job is really a little different than that,” she says. “I may have thought about it that way when I took the job almost five years ago. But now it’s about creating an environment in which you all remember that you still want to pick us every day.”
That’s not how most people think of a CFO’s responsibilities. But since taking the gig in 2013, Hood’s expansive view of the job is what keeps her in it. Along with Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, she’s played a key role in winning employees, customers, and investors back to Microsoft.
The world’s largest software maker, once undisputed ruler of the PC desktop, has remade itself into a cloud computing behemoth. Hood has translated the company’s strategy and product priorities into precise spending plans and forecasts. She has refocused Wall Street on forecasts for the cloud business and handily beat them. “She was able to change everybody’s perspective on a company where everyone thought their best days were behind them,” says Heather Bellini, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst who has covered Microsoft for more than 15 years. “Satya has done an excellent job, but people think of them as a package together.”
Microsoft shares have been hitting highs, though that may be hard to sustain. The company is battling rival cloud providers including Amazon .com Inc., which got a head start, and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which is rapidly building data centers. Those and other companies are also spending heavily on artificial intelligence, another area to which Nadella has committed considerable resources.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
The Novo Abides
Mike Novogratz, former Goldman Sachs partner and the loudest crypto bull on Wall Street, has made and lost a fortune on Bitcoin. He’s still all-in.
Trump’s tariffs were meant to make the U.S. a safe option for businesses looking to expand. It’s not working out that way.
The Immigration Hackers
An Obama-era department of techies is working to streamline paperwork from inside the Trump administration. Results are mixed.
Letter From London, March 2029
A message from post-Brexit Britain about what the 2019 split from the EU hasn’t delivered.
Saudi Weighs More Bank Mergers
Gulf bank consolidation trend gathers pace with Saudi plans.
Money Markets Mixed Over Fed Rate Hikes
There is little agreement among commentators as to whether the Fed will continue to hike rates in 2019.
Hey, Paul Ryan, What's Up? Budget Deficits
The professed fiscal hawk leaves behind a legacy of unsustainable shortfalls.
Dell EMC Bullish On 2019 Outlook
Cloud and technology giant plans further expansion in the Middle East.
Artificial Intelligence Has Some Explaining To Do
Software makers offer more transparent machine-learning tools—but there’s a trade-off.
What Buffalo Got, And Didn't Get, When Tesla Came To Town
After $750 million in subsidies and years of delays, critics say Elon Musk hasn’t done enough for his solar panel factory
women's health AT EVERY AGE
A woman’s health needs change dramatically over the years. Use this guide to find hormone-balancing tips and remedies based on your age.
TRANSFORMED FROM HOME
After accepting Better Nutrition’s Transform from Home challenge, coworkers Abby Maher and Lisa Stockton saw dramatic improvements in their health and vitality. Here, they share their stories of amazing transformations with the help of leptin pioneer Kat James.
The Healthy Way to Go Vegan
Whether you already follow a plant-based diet or want to give it a try, here’s how to make this style of eating work for you.
Mother's Day LUNCH MENU
Mother’s Day is the ideal time to honor the women in our lives and show our appreciation for all they’ve done for us. And what better way to let them know they’re special than with an elegant full-course meal? From appetizer to dessert, these decadent off erings hit all the right notes with wholesome, real-food ingredients that will please the palate and support good health.
More Than Meets the Eye
Protect the skin around your eyes from blue light damage and signs of aging with nourishing natural eye creams.
If your only experience with jujubes involves the candy that got stuck to your shoe at the movie theater, Alisha Taffwould like to introduce you to the “real” version of this timeless treat—a nutrient-packed fruit with deep roots in ancient Chinese medicine.
Instant Pot Lamb Stew
Celebrate spring with this quick-and-easy seasonal favorite.
A simple plan for clearing the junk out of your body and hitting the reset button on your health.
It’s flower season! We’re celebrating with six beautiful blooms that heal.
15 Snacks to Stabilize Your Blood Sugar
Eat small, quick, balanced food combinations to prevent low energy, mood swings, and crankiness in between meals.