Satya Nadella has been the chairman and CEO of Microsoft since 2014. Since then, he has become a symbol of successful leadership. His outstanding leadership resurrected the stricken Microsoft.
Satya was indeed an ordinary person living in a developing country. He failed his engineering college entrance exam. Despite this, he overcame his setbacks and is currently the CEO of Microsoft.
To learn more about Satya Nadella’s life and what we can take away from it, let’s delve deeper.
Nadella was born on August 19, 1967, in Hyderabad and attended Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet. Nadella aspired to attend engineering school but was unable to pass the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) entrance exam.
He did, however, got admission to Mesra’s Birla Institute of Technology and Manipal Institute of Technology. In 1988, he earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
After that, Nadella went to the United States to attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to pursue a master’s degree in computer science. He earned his diploma in 1990. He earned an MBA degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1997.
Nadella is a member of the Starbucks board of directors as well as the board of trustees for his alma school, the University of Chicago.
He is married to Anupama, the daughter of Nadella’s father’s Indian Administrative Service classmate. They had three children together. Nadella’s son had cerebral palsy and died in February 2022.
He currently lives in Bellevue, Washington. Nadella and his wife possess a shareholding in the Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders FC. He enjoys reading poetry and is a fanatic cricket fan. He reads both American and Indian poetry.
Satya Nadella began his professional life as a member of Sun Microsystems’ technical staff. He started working at Microsoft in 1992. He first contributed to the creation of Windows NT. He then managed significant cloud computing projects at Microsoft. He held reputable senior positions in Microsoft’s commercial and enterprise divisions.
Satya Nadella had made incredible strides in the organization. As a result, in the year 2001, he was elevated to corporate vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions.
He later worked as the vice president of R&D for the Online Services Division (2007-2011) and the Microsoft Business Division.
As a result of his continued great performance, he was promoted to President of the Server & Tools Division (2011-2014). He was key in bringing Microsoft’s database, Windows Server, and developer tools to the Azure cloud.
Cloud Services revenue increased to $20.3 billion in June 2013, up from $16.6 billion when he took over in 2011. On top of that, his salary for 2016 was $84.5 million.
In February 2014, Microsoft announced the appointment of Nadella as its new CEO. He succeeded Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates as Microsoft’s third CEO in chronological order.
Steve Ballmer was more of a business guy rather than a technology guy. When Steve took over after Bill Gates he focused more on business people at Microsoft. He wanted to break technology fiefdoms, and as a result, the company’s progress in technology ceased.
When Steve Ballmer announced his resignation, people expected some famous and known person to take over. When Microsoft announced Nadella as the new CEO, the world was confused. When out of nowhere a rather unknown executive became the CEO of such a popular company, there was a lot of skepticism about the decision.
To people’s surprise, something magical happened. After a decade of stagnation, stocks started climbing up. MS Cloud’s computing program azure started growing rapidly and turned incredibly profitable.
Within a few years, praise for Satya Nadella’s leadership spread around the world As everyone thought they are witnessing a miracle. Under Nadella’s leadership, the company’s stock had tripled by September 2018, with an annual growth rate of 27%.
On June 16, 2021, Nadella was named the company’s Executive Chairman after serving as Microsoft’s CEO for more than 7 years. He took over as chairman in place of John W. Thompson.
Microsoft’s merger with Linux, according to Nadella, will make it competitive with firms like Apple, Salesforce, and Dropbox. In 2016, Microsoft became an official Platinum member of the Linux Foundation.
In 2017, he also published his book called “HitRefresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone”. He has mentioned his experience and career at Microsoft in detail in the book.
Furthermore, he stated that all earnings from the book would be donated to Microsoft Philanthropies through charity organizations.
Satya and his wife Anupama had a baby boy, Zain Nadella in 1996. The couple was overjoyed to welcome the new family member, but something turned their joy into despair. The newborn had serious damage from in-utero asphyxiation, and he would need a wheelchair due to severe cerebral palsy. Zain had legal blindness.
When the child was born, Nadella was shocked and heartbroken by how quickly his and his wife’s lives had changed. He was going through a phase where he couldn’t stop wondering why this had happened to him. His wife helped him realize that nothing had happened to him and that he needed to focus on how he might improve his son’s life.
Anupama, Nadella’s wife, helped him in becoming a good dad and CEO. He says that, as a result of his experience with his kid, he pushed for various accessibility features at Microsoft to make the lives of specially-abled people simpler with technology.
Due to his disease, Zain Nadella died in Seattle in February 2022 at the age of 26. Of course, Nadella was crushed by this tragedy, but he used his grief to develop something that may make life simpler for others in similar situations.
Following that, Nadella prioritized accessibility in product developmental projects, from key features in Windows 10 like Narrator to novelties like Hearing AI.
Microsoft, under Nadella’s leadership, now hires people with special needs through programs such as the Supported Employment Program and the Autism Hiring Program to ensure optimal representation in the firm.
Satya Nadella has some leadership rules and attributes
Nadella is a leader with a clear vision. He regularly communicates this clear goal to all Microsoft employees. He did not confine this vision to a small group or team within the business; rather, he shared it with everyone to keep everyone informed, engaged, and involved in the objective.
Here are three qualities that Nadella seeks in a leader and strives to achieve in himself:
Satya Nadella believes that strong leaders and managers must be clear. If the path is well established, your team may be able to walk it on their own. Your leadership is what your followers look to in turbulent and uncertain times, and it is what they need to guide them across various vistas.
Although delivering clarity to your staff in difficult times is critical, it is not the only quality that a leader is required to possess. Being enthusiastic and passionate about what you do is one of the main leadership attributes of Microsoft’s CEO.
Finally, keep in mind that success does not come quickly. The road to success is full of challenges. Leadership would be easy if there were no hurdles in your path.
Leaders must pursue success in an overburdened problem. A leader can not say, ‘I’ll show you my genius when the weather is ideal and the stars are perfectly aligned.’ In the actual world, you don’t have control over many of the aspects, but you still need to sail the ship and get stuff done.
Life for Nadella started in Hyderabad. A person born in a first-world country may never grasp the hardships and problems that exist in a developing country with limited resources. What Nadella accomplished was no easy feat.
Satya Nadella’s narrative is motivating to people of all ages. Satya Nadella did not create a business. He worked quite hard to obtain this success. Based on his previous work and leadership abilities, he was chosen to oversee an established significant enterprise.
No one really cares what grades you have or where you went to college or university. The only thing that really matters is what you can offer to the business. The organization is just concerned with your capacity to do the job, and in Satya Nadella’s scenario, Microsoft had 22 years to judge that.
People love Satya Nadella for his good leadership qualities and empathy for his staff, which have helped him become the best CEO to work for.
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