As Microsoft culture changes, more former employees are returning to work

Dave W. Shanahan

More and more former Microsoft employees are returning to work for the Redmond company with CEO Satya Nadella at the helm. Microsoft’s refreshed company culture is possibly the reason for some many “boomerang” employees returing to work for the company.

As noted in a report by the Seattle Times, more former Microsoft employees are coming back to the company than in previous years. Since Satya Nadella joined as Microsoft’s CEO in 2014, more than 2,200 former Microsoft employees have returned to work for the company. 2016 marked the highest return of former Microsoft coming back to the company, with 897 employees, equating to 14.1% of new hires.

One such employee, Dean Lester left Microsoft in 2009. The reason Lester left Microsoft was because he was burnt out by the company’s culture and seemingly break-neck pace of launching Microsoft products and services.

Nadella outlined his “One Microsoft” mantra in “Hit Refresh,” released last year.

At the end of 2016, Lester was pulled back to Microsoft by emails from former colleagues with the promise of a new and reinvigorated Microsoft. At the time, Lester was unsure if he wanted to return to Microsoft. Lester spent 13 years working as an engineer at Microsoft before he left in 2009. At the time, Lester was comfortable in his role working at Qualcomm and didn’t see much reason to leave.

After listening to his former colleagues, Lester ended up back at Microsoft in 2017. Now, Lester is a partner director of engineering at Microsoft, managing teams that are responsible for developing mixed reality and HoloLens technology.

Nadella’s vision for “One Microsoft” is slowly taking shape as the Redmond company is continuing to work collaboratively together in order to better compete against the likes of Apple, Google, and others.