Much has already been said and written about the $7.17 billion Microsoft-Nokia deal, through which the former absorbs the latter’s devices and services division, but a new report published by Businessweek today offers a glimpse of what happened behind the scenes prior to the deal being announced. It is claimed that Microsoft founder, former CEO and ex-Chairman of the board Bill Gates was staunchly opposed to the idea of this acquisition, it was his belief that Microsoft should stay as a software company at heart and not venture too deep into ambitions of becoming a hardware company.
New CEO Satya Nadella was also reportedly against the deal initially, though he is believed to have changed his views later. Initially the deal was supposed to include Nokia’s HERE Maps unit as well, then CEO Ballmer fought for it, but the board shot him down saying that it was too expensive and complex. Apparently Ballmer was so furious when he was told that the board had rejected his proposal that his shouts “could be heard outside the conference room.” The deal was then revised, the mapping unit dropped and return of Nokia CEO Stephen Elop penciled in, the board approved it.
It is believed that Bill Gates remained opposed till the very end, and though he might be an influential figure on the board, he doesn’t have enough sway to stop the deal from going through. When contacted by the scribe, Ballmer, Gates and Nadella all declined to comment. In a recent statement sent out via email, Nadella termed the Nokia deal as “the right move for Microsoft.”