Why I, Conan O’Brien, Turned Down The Microsoft CEO Job

repost: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140211232107-288872202-why-i-conan-o-brien-turned-down-the-microsoft-ceo-job?trk=eml-ced-b-art-M-0&midToken=AQHvt_neDXxXvg&ut=06BSwXWnFavm81


LinkedIn Influencer Conan O’Brien here, and I’d like to belatedly congratulate Satya Nadella, the veteran executive who will be replacing Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft.

You’ll do a great job, Satya. It is my informed opinion that you were the right second choice. The right first choice, of course, being the current host of CONAN on TBS.

Sure, the Microsoft board never technically asked me to be their CEO. I did, however, get a tweet from Bill Gates once. So, you do the math. 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 Redmond, Washington campus.

The complete lack of any response to my flat-out rejection of their non-offer spoke volumes. One day, I’m sure they’ll get over it.

It would have been easy to run a scrappy start-up like Microsoft. As easy as booting up Windows ‘98 on my Compaq Presario and winning a game of Minesweeper.

Turning Microsoft back into an industry titan like Wang or Commodore would have required a simple three point action-plan: 1. Zune 2. More Zune 3. Even More Zune.

But wait, there’s more.

I would have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a marketing campaign to get everyone in America to “Bing their symptoms” after that weekend trip to Juarez.

The Surface tablet would have come with new peripheral device I called “Tiny Windshield Wipers.”

Every single version of the Windows operating system would have been voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

Excel 2014 would have built-in Instagram filters.

These are just some of the brilliant ideas that I wrote down in my personal journal titled “Poetry.”

Life is too short to ponder “what ifs.” What if I had decided to breed emus? What if I had joined Cirque du Soleill? What if I was self-aware?

We will never know the answers to these questions. But I can answer the one question that is currently melting your brain.

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.

isn’t he such an inspiring man?



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