Satya Narayana Nadella (born 19 August 1967) is an Indian American business executive. He is the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft, succeeding Steve Ballmer in 2014. Before becoming CEO, he was Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company’s computing platforms, developer tools and cloud computing services.
Nadella subsequently traveled to the U.S. to study for a Master of Science in Computer Science at the University of WisconsinMilwaukee, receiving his degree in 1990. Later he received his MBA degree from University of Chicago
Nadella said he “always wanted to build things” and that “electrical engineering was a great way for me to go discover what turned out to become a passion.”
Nadella worked with Sun Microsystems as a member of its technology staff prior to joining Microsoft in 1992.
At Microsoft, Nadella has led major projects that included the company’s move to cloud computing and the development of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world.
Nadella worked as the senior vice-president of Research and Development (R&D) for the Online Services Division and vice-president of the Microsoft Business Division. Later, he was made the president of Microsoft’s $19 billion Server and Tools Business and led a transformation of the company’s business and technology culture from client services to cloud infrastructure and services. He has been credited for helping bring Microsoft’s database, Windows Server and developer tools to its Azure cloud. The revenue from Cloud Services grew to $20.3 billion in June 2013 from $16.6 billion when he took over in 2011. He received $18 million in 2016 pay.
Nadella’s 2013 base salary was nearly $700,000, for a total compensation, with stock bonuses, of $7.6 million.
Previous positions held by Nadella include:
- President of the Server & Tools Division (9 February 2011 February 2014)
- Senior Vice-President of Research and Development for the Online Services Division (March 2007 February 2011)
- Vice-President of the Business Division
- Corporate Vice-President of Business Solutions and Search & Advertising Platform Group
- Executive Vice-President of Cloud and Enterprise group
On 4 February 2014, Nadella was announced as the new CEO of Microsoft, the third chief executive in the company’s history, following Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
In October 2014, Nadella courted controversy when he made a statement that women should not ask for a raise and should trust the system. The statement was made while he was attending an event on Women in Computing in Phoenix, AZ. Nadella was roundly criticised for the statement and he apologised later on Twitter. He later sent an email to Microsoft Employees admitting he was “Completely wrong”
Nadella changed the companys direction after becoming CEO. His tenure has emphasized openness to working with companies and technologies with which Microsoft also competes, including Apple Inc.,Salesforce,IBM, and Dropbox. In contrast to previous Microsoft campaigns against the Linux operating system, Nadella proclaimed that “Microsoft ? Linux”, and in 2016, Microsoft joined the Linux Foundation as a Platinum member.
Under Nadella, Microsoft revised its mission statement to “empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more”. In comparison to founder Bill Gates‘s “a PC on every desk and in every home, running Microsoft software”, Nadella says that it is an enduring mission, rather than a temporal goal. His key goal has been transforming Microsofts corporate culture into one that values continual learning and growth. He has cited the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck as inspiration for this philosophy around a “growth mindset”.
Nadella’s leadership of Microsoft included a series of high profile acquisitions of other companies, to redirect Microsoft’s focus. His first major acquisition was of Mojang, a Swedish game company best known for the popular freeform computer building game Minecraft, in late 2014, for $2.5 billion. Minecraft was notably a cross-platform game, with versions running on Apple’s iOS mobile devices, and the Sony PlayStation dedicated gaming console, as well as Microsoft’s Xbox. He followed that in 2016 by purchasing Xamarin and LinkedIn.
In the years since becoming CEO, Nadella is viewed as having done well, with Microsoft stock having risen more than 60% since he took over, and achieving an all-time high.
In 1992, Nadella married Anupama, daughter of his father’s Indian Administrative Service (IAS) batchmate, K.R. Venugopal. The couple has three children, a son and two daughters, and live in Bellevue, Washington.
Nadella is an avid reader of American and Indian poetry. He also has an interest in cricket (his passion growing up), having played on his school team. He has mentioned having learned something about leadership and teamwork from cricket. He has a cricket bat signed by Sachin Tendulkar as his favorite personal possession.
In June 2016, it was announced Nadella would publish his first book, with a publish date planned for fall 2017. Titled ‘Hit Refresh’, the book will explore his life, Microsoft and how technology will shape the future. The profits from the book will be put towards Microsoft Philanthropies where it will go on to help nonprofits.