8 Things About Satya Nadella Who Transformed Microsoft

Satya Nadella is widely credited with the resurgence of Microsoft as a dominant player in the tech space. The company had faced challenges under its previous CEO Steve Ballmer. Since taking over as CEO, Nadella transformed the company, especially its cloud division. He made strategic acquisitions and partnerships to put Microsoft back on track.

8 things about Satya Nadella

1. Nadella was born in a well connected family

Satya Nadella was born in Hyderabad, India (in present day Telangana state) in 1967. His father BN Yugandhar was an IAS offer, a plum central civil service position, which is very difficult to get in India. His father also served as Prime Minister’s special secretary and was well connected.

2. He got his MBA from Chicago’s Booth School of Business

Nadella graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Manipal University in India. He then moved to the US for higher studies. He got a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 1990. He got an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 1997 while working full-time at Microsoft.

3. Nadella started his career at Sun Microsystems. He moved to Microsoft in 1992.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Nadella took a job at Sun Microsystems. He moved to Microsoft in 1992. He rose through the ranks quickly. At Microsoft, he counted the company’s founder Bill Gates as one of his mentors, which helped him grow quickly.

4. He became the CEO of Microsoft in 2014

He became the CEO of Microsoft in 2014 after holding leadership positions in enterprise and consumer businesses at the company.  Nadella forged working relationships with competitors such as Apple, Salesforce, Linux, IBM, and DropBox. Nadella swiftly moved Microsoft services to the cloud which re-energized the company and allowed it to compete with Amazon. He made several key acquisitions – Linkedin in $26.2 billion, Github in 2018, and Activision in 2022.

5. Nadella married his college sweetheart. His son Zain passed away in 2022

In 992, Nadella married Anupama, who went to school at Manipal but was his junior. The couple had three children – a son and two daughters. His son Zain passed away in 2022 at age 26. Zain Nadella was a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy.

When Zain was born in 1996, he weighed only 3 lbs and suffered from utero asphyxiation. He used a wheelchair throughout his life and required constant care. Zain’s life inspired Nadella to make accessibility a priority for Microsoft.  In a Linkedin post, Nadella said:

Becoming a father of a son with special needs was the turning point in my life that has shaped who I am today

6. He loves cricket. He is an investor in soccer and cricket leagues in the US

Nadella played cricket for his school team and is a cricket fan. He is an investor in the Seattle Sounders FC, a Major League Soccer club. He has invested in Major League Cricket. He is also a fan of the NFL team, the Seattle Seahawks.

7. Nadella loves reading poetry and compares poetry to coding

Nadella loves reading poetry. He reads American and Indian poetry. He compares poetry to coding. In an interview, Nadella said,

You’re trying to take something that can be described in many, many sentences and pages of prose, but you can convert it into a couple of  lines of poetry and you still get the essence, so it’s that compression. The best code is poetry,

8. He is a Board member at Starbucks

In 2017, Nadella became a Boar member at another well-known Seattle company Starbucks. Starbucks is the world’s largest coffee chain with over 30,000 stores all around the world. Nadella also serves on the Board of Trustees at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and at the University of Chicago.

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