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Categories: Microsoft

REDMOND, Wash.— #Microsoft Corp.’s annual executive retreat is an exclusive affair for company bigwigs—180 with the title of distinguished engineer, corporate vice president or higher—and a rare opportunity to plot strategy and socialize with bosses who could green light projects and advance careers. @SatyaNadella decided to shake things up. At last year’s meeting, the first he fully planned after taking over as chief executive officer in 2014, he broke with tradition by inviting new chiefs of companies Microsoft had recently acquired, according to an executive who attended. Some Microsoft senior leaders complained to Mr. Nadella, saying the new hands didn’t have the titles or tenure to attend the two-day event at Suncadia Resort, a mountain getaway 80 miles east of Seattle. Their presence breached the protocol established by Microsoft’s two former CEOs, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. Another half dozen newcomers attended this spring. In response to one executive, Mr. Nadella said, “We’re doing this because of the insights they bring.”

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