Hyderabad-born Satya Nadella takes over Bill Gates’ legacy as CEO of Microsoft

Gates abdicates position as chairman, board of directors.

By Deepak Chitnis

Satya Nadella (courtesy of Microsoft)
Satya Nadella (courtesy of Microsoft)

WASHINGTON, DC: Microsoft has officially named Satya Nadella as its next CEO, confirming early reports that had pegged the company veteran as the heir to its powerful throne.

Nadella, who is currently the executive vice-president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, will become just the third CEO in the company’s history. He is replacing Steven A. Ballmer, who announced his impending retirement from the job back in August.

The company’s first CEO was Bill Gates, who announced alongside Nadella’s promotion that he will be abdicating his position as the chairman of Microsoft’s board of directors; he will be replaced by John W. Thompson, who is currently a member of the board and is credited with being a critical player in the search to replace Ballmer.

In a press statement, Nadella said that he “couldn’t be more honored to have been chosen to lead [Microsoft],” calling it “one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionized the world of technology.”

Gates lauded his company’s newest leader, saying “Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth.”

Nadella is a longtime veteran of Microsoft, having been with the company for over two decades. The 46 year-old Hyderabad native was hired by the company in 1992, after working for Sun Microsystems very briefly, and rose up the ranks from a program manager in the Windows Developer Relations group to being the head honcho of the company’s fast-growing cloud computing sector.

Born Satyanarayana Nadella, he attended Hyderabad Public School in his home city before going to the renowned Manipal Institute of Technology in Karnataka, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in electronics and communications engineering. He then attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, for his master’s degree in computer science, and then the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, where he earned his master’s degree in business administration.

Nadella lives in Washington with his wife and two young daughters. Below is his first-ever interview as the CEO of Microsoft.

To contact the author, email to deepakchitnis@americanbazaaronline.com

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