Start the conversation
When the New England Patriots fell behind early on during Super Bowl LI, I told my wife not to worry.
That's because Tom Brady reminded me so much of my favorite quarterback of all time – Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers.
Both these players prove how you can stun the world by staying calm, sticking with a good game plan, and focusing on winning. It's all about leadership and teamwork.
I bring this up because there's an emerging tech CEO whose performance reminds me a lot of Brady's. And when you find a CEO like that – you know you can crush the market.
When a once-struggling tech giant appointed this CEO three years ago last week, I pegged him as a winner – even if he hadn't won big like Brady… yet.
With this brilliant executive at the helm, I knew this firm met the mandate of Rule No. 1 of our tech wealth-building system – "great companies have great operations."
Since then, the stock has gone on to defeat all comers – beating the broader market by more than 140%.
But this guy is going to be the "Tom Brady of High Tech" – and so this company will keep beating the competition for years to come.
Not So Soft Anymore
When Satya Nadella became CEO of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) back on Feb. 4, 2014, "Mr. Softy" was on the ropes. Its flagging stock price reflected Wall Street's worries about the steady decline in PC sales.
On paper that analysis rang true. Microsoft's fortunes appeared tied to the slowly dying PC market. What Wall Street missed was just how big a role a great leader – someone who stays calm, sticks with a good game plan, and focuses on winning – can play in turning a laggard into a leader once again.
Before Nadella took the reins, Microsoft had veered far off course. His predecessor, Steve Ballmer, had a 44% approval rating among current and former Microsoft employees, according to GeekWire.
It's hard to inspire the troops when you command little respect. Ballmer may have been brash and passionate, but he was unable to refocus this once-dominant tech giant on the most important emerging trends in tech.
Microsoft basically was a no-show in the hyper-growth worlds of mobile and cloud computing.
And don't forget that staff morale at a place like Microsoft can be reflected in its stock price. In the 13 years in which Ballmer served as CEO, Microsoft's stock declined by more than 36%, trailing the S&P 500 by more than 50 percentage points.
From Day 1, Nadella set a strong tone by demanding better results in key metrics such as market share and profits. He also pushed Microsoft to build leadership in newer areas lik…
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.