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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella set goal of $500 billion in revenue by 2030, court filing shows

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., during an event with senior officials and chief executive officers in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, June 22, 2023.

Chris Kleponis | CNP | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told fellow executives and board members last year that the software company aims to reach $500 billion in revenue by the 2030 fiscal year, more than doubling from its current size.

The comments, pointing to annual revenue growth of at least 10%, appeared in a memo that became public on Monday as part of Microsoft’s federal court hearing over its pending Activision Blizzard acquisition.

Microsoft, one of the world’s most-valuable companies, doesn’t tend to issue financial projections far into the future. In its latest earnings call, the company provided guidance only as far as the current period, which is the fiscal fourth quarter.

In the latest disclosure, part of a 15-page memo with an accompanying 21-page document, Nadella said Microsoft aims to achieve its 2030 goal “by implementing an evolving strategy that is growth-oriented and consistent with our enduring mission and culture.”

Nadella also laid out a forecast for shareholder returns, which come in the form of dividends and buybacks.

“We believe this ambition and approach will help us deliver in excess of 10% annual returns to our shareholders over that timeframe,” Nadella wrote in the document dated June 7, 2022, weeks before the end of the fiscal year.

Nadella described a goal of “20/20,” involving 20% year-over-year revenue growth and 20% operating income expansion for the 2022 fiscal year and subsequent years. For 2022, Microsoft wound up reaching 18% top-line growth to $198.27 billion in revenue, and 19% operating income growth.

In the memo, Nadella used the phrase Microsoft Plus to describe products aimed at consumers. But he said the main driver of growth is Microsoft Cloud, a term that refers to a broad suite of products directed at commercial clients, including the Azure public cloud (which competes with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud), parts of Microsoft 365 productivity software and portions of LinkedIn.

“Our priority is to maintain growth above the market rate to extend our lead over GCP and close the gap with AWS,” Nadella wrote in the accompanying document.

The Federal Trade Commission is trying to block Microsoft’s $68.7 billion purchase of game publisher Activision.

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