We’d like to congratulate Chris Capossela and the entire Microsoft team on an outstanding Q2 2022 performance.
Revenue came in at $51.7 billion. That’s up by 20%.
Operating income reached $22.2 billion. That’s up 24%.
Microsoft also delivered within individual lines of business:
- Office commercial products and cloud services revenue jumped 14%
- Office consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 15%
- LinkedIn revenue rose 37%
- Server products and cloud services (Azure) increased by 29%
Those kinds of results are brought to shareholders, thanks to the efforts of the Microsoft marketing team, led by Chris Capossela.
Chris Capossela Started Learning Early
Capossela got his start in business at a young age.
His mom and dad started the restaurant when they were just 19 and 20 years old. It was a “downstairs” eatery with Capossela and his extended family living in the apartments above.
On the plus side: not much of a commute to work.
Speaking of work, that’s what Capossela did at the restaurant. Even as a child.
“You come home from the school and you go into the restaurant,” he said in an interview with Finding Mastery. “You didn’t go up to the apartment. And you had your after-school snack at the bar. And then you hung out at the restaurant, you did your homework and you went to work, obviously.”
That place was, in every sense of the word, a “family restaurant.” Not only did Capossela work there, but so did his parents, cousins, uncles, and aunts.
And, presumably, so did his brothers. He’s the youngest of three children.
Capossela Family Restaurant Values
To this day, Capossela often wonders if the restaurant prepared him for his career at Microsoft. A career that spans over three decades. He joined Microsoft in 1991.
When he was a child, his parents would move him around to different responsibilities within the restaurant. Sometimes, he’d work in the kitchen. On other occasions, he’d join the front staff.
“So I think it prepared me for a lot of things that I didn’t understand it was preparing me for,” he says. “And that hard work ethic, growing up in a restaurant, it’s a tough, tough business.”
Nowadays, he says his leadership style involves giving the stage to other folks. That’s because modern-day business teams, like Italian restaurants of old, only succeed when everybody works together.
Along those lines, he says he likes to “have the courage to put other people first.”
Capossela’s Intro to High-Tech
Capossela works in the high-tech space now. That’s significantly different from the food service industry where he got his start.
So how did he transition?
You guessed it. He learned about technology while working at the restaurant.
One day when Capossela was 13 years old, his father read an article in the Boston Globe about this software called Lotus 1-2-3.
If you’re unfamiliar with Lotus 1-2-3, you’re probably young. It was the original spreadsheet software. The forerunner of Microsoft Excel.
After reading that article, Capossela’s father went out and bought an IBM PC. Then he plugged it in at the restaurant and turned the whole thing over to his son.
“Chris, this is your thing that I want you to figure out how to use, and apply,” he said. “I don’t know the answers. Apply it to the restaurant. And these spreadsheet things, we’re going to buy Lotus 1-2-3, and you’re going to start with that.”
And that’s exactly what he did.
It didn’t stop there, though. Capossela’s father also enrolled him in a database programming class. That’s where he learned about databases.
As a Speechwriter
Here’s something that might come as a shock to you: Chris Capossela wrote speeches for Bill Gates. When he was just 26 years old.
That speech writing gig lasted two and a half years.
Capossela says he learned a lot about project management during that time. Sometimes, he’d have to spend hours working on a speech. Other times, he could get by with just 45 minutes’ worth of work.
But he also learned a lot from the founder of Microsoft himself during that time.
“He’s running a big, mega company. I saw focus on people. Do we have the right people in every job? In a way that I’d never seen. And I saw crazy curiosity. I mean, the learning capacity of one human being. The books I would carry around for him to read wherever we were, was just mind-blowing. It’s so inspiring.”
Chris Capossela’s Other Roles at Microsoft
Capossela is in charge of both the consumer and commercial businesses of Microsoft.
He is the leader of the Consumer Business organization and oversees the Consumer Channel sales team, Microsoft Advertising sales, and Microsoft Stores.
His teams are committed to advancing Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and every organization to achieve more.
Chris Capossela is an example of promotion within.
He’s worked with Microsoft for over 30 years, starting as a Marketing Manager, and working his way up to Director and General Manager positions.
Capossela spent the latter half of his career in leadership positions. He has held leadership positions, including Corporate Vice President, CMO and Corporate Vice President.
Wrapping It Up
Chris Capossela isn’t just a marketer, he’s a businessman through and through.
He grew up in business. He’s worn many hats while at Microsoft.
And now he’s CMO of one of the most well-respected big-tech companies in the world.
I look forward to seeing where he takes the company from here.