The Changing Face of Microsoft – Satya Nadella

By : Swati Sharma |
Satya Nadella

A 5’11” cricket-loving engineer from Hyderabad, Satya Nadella is CEO of Microsoft Corporation. Nadella had made the reputation as a mild-mannered leader who used his free time taking online courses of neuroscience and reading poetry. On 4 February 2014, he had become the CEO of the global’s 4th most important organization, Microsoft Corporation. He belongs to a Telugu-speaking Hindu family. His mother was a Sanskrit lecturer and his father was an IAS officer of batch 1962. His family was moved from Nadella village to Bukkapuram in Anantapuramu district, Andhra Pradesh, then to Hyderabad.


Nadella completed schooling from the Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet. Afterwards, he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1988 from the Manipal Institute of Technology in Karnataka, in electrical engineering. He travelled to the United States for further studies. In 1990, he earned M.S. in computer science at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He holds an MBA degree in 1996 from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

The Journey at Microsoft

Before joining Microsoft, he worked at a company that sold computers, software, and information technology services namely Sun Microsystems. After leaving Sun Microsystems, in 1992 he joined Microsoft as a Junior Engineer. He achieved his first executive role in 2000, as vice president of Microsoft Central. After that, he was promoted as the corporate Vice President of Microsoft Business Solutions. He was the Senior Vice President of Microsoft Online Services by 2007. Then he was assigned a position of president of the Server and Tools Division, which managed the Azure cloud and products for companies data centres like Windows Server and the SQL Server database in 2011.

Becoming CEO of Microsoft

On 4 February 2014, Satya Nadella was selected as the new CEO of Microsoft. After Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, he is the third CEO in the company’s history. His first win with Microsoft was of Mojang, a Swedish game company very well known for the computer game Minecraft, for $2.5 billion in 2014. In 2016, he also managed the purchase of professional network LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. After that Microsoft acquired GitHub for US$7.5 billion on October 26, 2018. After Nadella became CEO, Microsoft stock had significantly increased by September 2018, with a 27% annual growth rate.

Personal Life

Satya Nadella married his high school love Anupama in the year 1992. Anupama is the daughter of his father’s IAS batchmate and his junior at Manipal’s Faculty of Architecture pursuing a B.Arch. The couple has three children, a son and two daughters – Zain Nadella, Tara Nadella, Divya Nadella and lives in Clyde Hill and Bellevue, Washington. Nadella loves to read American and Indian poetry. He also has a passion for cricket and has played on his school team. The couple is also a part of the ownership group of Seattle Sounders FC, a Major League Soccer club.

Awards and Recognitions

Nadella was a Time Magazine’s, 100 honoree in 2018. He was also titled as a Financial Times Person of the Year and Fortune magazine Businessperson of the year in 2019. In 2020, he was acknowledged as Global Indian Business Icon at CNBC-TV18’s India Business Leader Awards in Mumbai. His biography ‘Hit Refresh’ describes his life and his career in Microsoft. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Starbucks, Board of Trustees of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Board of Trustees, of the University of Chicago.

Like every successful person on this planet, Nadella too is passionate about knowledge, and always eager to learn something new.