Paul Allen: Microsoft CEO 'Is One of the Toughest Jobs in the World' (Video)
The co-founder talked to CBS News' Charlie Rose about the challenges of leading the tech giant, as it's on the verge of naming a new head, as well as his role as co-owner of the Seattle Seahawks.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has a big weekend ahead of him. Not only will the Seattle Seahawks co-owner watch his team compete in the Super Bowl, but Microsoft is also reportedly on the verge of naming the company's enterprise and cloud chief, Satya Nadella, its new CEO, according to Bloomberg.
Speaking to CBS News' Charlie Rose, Allen said that running the tech giant is particularly challenging, given all the different areas in which Microsoft has a presence.
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"If you think about it, the job of running Microsoft -- and I used to tell Steve Ballmer this -- is one of the toughest jobs in the world," Allen said, "because you're competing with so many different companies. You have so many different products. And so any new CEO coming in has to decide, do they continue to compete in so many areas? Or do they jettison some of the larger investments that have already been made and focus down on a lesser number of areas?"
When asked what he would recommend, Allen says he just provides outside advice, but predicted there will "be some amount of simplification."
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Still, he pointed out that the new CEO would need to decide what to focus on.
"The argument, I think, basically is, you know, if you're thinking about the future of computing platforms, you know, smartphones or laptops or whatever … is something like search, which, you know, Google dominates right now, is something like that integral to what you'd want to do in the future? Or can you focus on other areas and not pursue search? So those are really, really hard decisions."
Allen also talked about his role as Seahawks co-owner.
When asked what satisfaction owning the team brings to him, Allen said not only does he enjoy watching the Seattle community experience the team's victories, he likes getting to know the team and having an insider's perspective.
"For me, of course, behind the scenes, you get to know the people, you get to know the players and coaches, ask questions and see how it's all coming together and try to make a good suggestion here and there," he said. "But I'm not quite as obsessional as I used to be. In the early days, I used to try to memorize the statistics of every NBA player. I'm not quite that bad anymore."
Allen also admitted that he wants to know what surprises the Seahawks have up their sleeve each week, often asking coach Pete Carroll, "What are the wrinkles this week?"