Gates and Nadella opposed Microsoft’s Nokia acquisition

Bill Gates and Satya Nadella initially opposed Nokia’s acquisition by Microsoft, rejecting a further move into hardware.

Gates and Nadella opposed Microsoft's Nokia acquisition

According to Bloomberg, Steve Ballmer first hammered out a deal with Nokia chairman Risto Siilasmaa in February last year. He then floated the acquisition to the board in June, but was rejected by Gates, Nadella, ex-Skype CEO Tony Bates and a number of directors.

According to the report, Gates disagreed that Microsoft should be producing its own mobile hardware.

Nadella would go on to change his mind, telling Bloomberg: “Nokia brings mobile-first depth across hardware, software, design, global supply chain expertise and deep understanding and connections across the mobile market.”

“This is the right move for Microsoft,” he added.

Ballmer’s initial proposal included two Nokia units – both its handset division and its mapping unit. The board saw this first suggestion as too pricey, rejecting it outright.

It eventually signed off the €5.44bn (£4.6bn) deal for Nokia’s handset business – though according to Bloomberg, the deal may have hastened Ballmer’s exit.

Ballmer earlier this week admitted that convincing the board had been tough, describing the acquisition as his hardest decision at the helm of Microsoft. He announced his retirement in August, and was succeeded bv Nadella last month.

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