Left to right: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, former CEO and founder Bill Gates, and former CEO Steve Ballmer. Microsoft
A happy company is a productive company, and Microsoft employees are very happy, finds analyst firm UBS in a report issued earlier in October.
In fact, Microsoft is a happier company overall than Apple for the first time since UBS started tracking employee sentiment in 2012. The study uses data from Glassdoor to track everything from CEO approval to opportunities for career advancement to overall outlook for the business.
"The overall results are supportive of our thesis that MSFT has once again become a destination for top tech talent, with annual ratings consistently improving and ahead of peers," writes UBS.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella looks especially good , by the report's reckoning. At the close of 2013, the final days of former chief executive Steve Ballmer's reign, Microsoft only gave a 51% rating for CEO approval. Nadella took the reigns in February 2014, and the CEO approval rating hit 88% by the end of 2015.
This year isn't over just yet, but Microsoft is now performing around 10% higher in employee satisfaction than the industry average, says UBS, which edges out Apple.
Jeff Weiner (left), Satya Nadella (middle), Reid Hoffman (right) Microsoft
Meanwhile, LinkedIn, which Microsoft bought in a blockbuster $26.2 billion deal earlier in 2016, isn't as happy as it used to be.
LinkedIn used to the very best tech company in the UBS rankings, with 17% higher satisfaction levels than the average, and a 95% approval rating for CEO Jeff Weiner. Since the deal was announced, it's down to 11% higher and an 85% CEO approval rating — not bad, and still 3rd overall, but a disappointing comedown for the enterprise social network.
Under Nadella, Microsoft has refocused itself around providing services and tools via a subscription model, even when that means delivering products for one-time enemies like the Apple iPhone, Google's Android, or the Linux operating system. That freedom seems to have revitalized the company's developers and engineers .