Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Satya Nadella admitted Wednesday to buying business cards for employees to promote his new Apple products and said he was not trying to influence the company’s strategy, a person familiar with the matter said.
The admission came as Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook has been pushing for the company to embrace Microsoft’s products.
Cook, a longtime Microsoft executive, also has been pressuring Apple to move more of its business products and services to Microsoft’s platform.
Nadella has been a longtime Apple customer, as has Cook.
He and his wife, Liza, who owns a tech company, purchased the Apple brand in 2013 for $1.7 billion.
Nadellas own stakes in Apple and Google, and are both senior partners at Microsoft.
The person familiar said the purchase of the Apple business card was not a direct request from Nadello.
The company is currently using a Microsoft business card.
It does not appear to have been paid for, the person said.
Microsoft said in a statement that it is “aware of the news reports that are circulating” about Nadeillas business card purchases and is “not in a position to comment.”
Nadellah also has an active Apple retail and corporate website.
The former Microsoft CEO, who was previously the chief executive of the Boston Red Sox, is now Apple’s CEO.
The company is the world’s largest mobile device maker, with a market cap of $65 billion, according to research firm IDC.
The statement from Microsoft said Nadeellas business cards were “not a direct demand from Microsoft,” but rather “an opportunity to promote Microsoft products and experiences” and to create more personal interactions between the two companies.
Natellas purchase came as he faces pressure from Cook, who has repeatedly called on Apple to change its strategy and adopt Microsoft’s Windows platform.
The New York Times reported last week that Nadelledas business phone number was connected to a number registered in Ireland, which was used to buy and sell Microsoft’s corporate cards.
Cook, meanwhile, said Wednesday he has “a lot of friends in Redmond” and would like to see Microsoft adopt Microsoft products.
“I want to be part of it, and I think that’s why I’m going to be talking about it with Apple,” Cook told the New York Post.
“It’s going to help drive them to change and adopt Windows,” Cook added.
“I’m not trying that to change them, but to encourage them to do the same thing.”
Cook’s comments came a day after he met with Microsoft chief executive Satya Nelson, who is also Apple’s senior vice president for digital.
Nelson, who also chairs Microsoft’s board of directors, was also in attendance, according a person with knowledge of the meeting.