Conan O’Brien Rejected the Microsoft CEO Title before Nadella Took On the Job

Conan o'brien holds a sign with a redesigned microsoft logo

Conan o'brien holds a sign with a redesigned microsoft logo

Satya Nadella was only second choice to fill the role of Microsoft CEO, according to recent developments. Believe it or not, comedian Conan O’Brien was actually first in line to replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO – but he politely turned down the “offer.”

In a tongue-in-cheek piece published on LinkedIn Today, O’Brien recalls sending a note to Microsoft before Nadella was chosen – though he might have sent it to the wrong location. “That is why I was proactive, as business visionaries often are, and sent a very nice ‘thanks, but no thanks’ note with an Edible Arrangement to their Redwood, Washington campus,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien offered a number of strategies to make Microsoft thrive including “1. Zune 2. More Zune 3. Even More Zune,” packaging “Tiny Windshield Wipers” with every Surface tablet, incorporating Scarlett Johansson’s voice into every version of Windows and building Instagram filters into Excel 2014 (assuming the software hasn’t already been made).

In spite of his brilliant plans for Microsoft, one detail held O’Brien back from taking on the title of Microsoft CEO:

The reason I turned down the CEO job was simple – I knew, in my heart of hearts, that Microsoft would never, ever, let me rename the entire company CONAN. And at the end of the day, I just want to work for a company that’s in the business of me, me, me.

O’Brien has been an active LinkedIn influencer since October 2013, poking fun at social media and himself in every post. He has over 130,000 followers on LinkedIn Today.

Image by LinkedIn

Lauren Mobertz

By Lauren Mobertz

Lauren is the former managing editor for DashBurst. One part geek, one part urban nomad, she is constantly scouting for the latest tech and world news. In the evenings you'll find Lauren running in strange places or attempting to dance salsa.