Microsoft: A Case Study in Strategy Transformation

July 03, 2024

In early 2015, Microsoft’s senior leaders were facing a set of difficult decisions. The firm had been struggling to innovate and grow as fast as its competitors. Now they were considering new opportunities that would yield higher growth but lower margins — like shifting away from perpetual licensing to focus on subscription sales.

Harvard Business School professor Fritz Foley studied this period of transformative change at Microsoft for a business case study he wrote. In this episode, he shares how Microsoft’s leaders analyzed different options and worked to get both investors and employees on board with new ideas about growth. He also explains how the company’s risk-averse culture evolved in order to execute such a huge transformation.

Key episode topics include: strategy, growth strategy, business models, corporate governance. 

HBR On Strategy curates the best case studies and conversations with the world’s top business and management experts, to help you unlock new ways of doing business. New episodes every week.

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