It is often said that February is the shortest month in a calendar year, yet one of the busiest. On one such day in February 2014, the news of Steve Anthony Ballmer – the former CEO of Microsoft, retiring broke out and sent the media paparazzi on a tizzy as they tried to figure out who would succeed him. Contrary to a lot of views and to the surprise of many Mr Satya Nadella, an Indian – American Business Executive was appointed as the successor to Mr Ballmer.
Born in Hyderabad, India, Mr Nadella holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.
Before joining Microsoft, Mr Nadella was a member of the technology staff at Sun Microsystems. Having gained immense experience and knowledge in the domain, he joined Microsoft in 1992 and prior to being named as the CEO in February 2014, held leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer businesses across the company, one of them being the post of the executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group where he led the transformation to the cloud infrastructure and services business, which outperformed the market and took share from competition. He has also led R&D for the Online Services Division and was the vice president of the Microsoft Business Division.
Heading an industry that respects innovation and not traditions
“We live in a mobile-first and cloud-first world. Computing is ubiquitous and experiences span devices and exhibit ambient intelligence. Billions of sensors, screens and devices – in conference rooms, living rooms, cities, cars, phones, PCs – are forming a vast network and streams of data that simply disappear into the background of our lives. This computing power will digitize nearly everything around us and will derive insights from all of the data being generated by interactions among people and between people and machines. We are moving from a world where computing power was scarce to a place where it now is almost limitless, and where the true scarce commodity is increasingly human attention”i , said Mr Nadella, in one of his talks, an excerpt that has reinstated importance and immense dignity in the power of Technology and more importantly the Business houses and companies, who take this technology a step further through their innovations in the Software domain.
Mr Nadella never misses an opportunity to bolster the confidence of the people he leads, a practice he feels that is the number one task of a leader. At Microsoft, Mr Nadella has led major projects including the company’s move to cloud computing and the development of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the worldi.
Talking to New York Times in his first interview post being appointed as the CEO of Microsoft, Mr Nadella was noted to have said that “Longevity in this business is about being able to reinvent yourself or invent the future. In our case, given 39 years of success, it’s more about reinvention. We’ve had great successes, but our future is not about our past success. It’s going to be about whether we will invent things that are really going to drive our future”. In fact, It is under his able guidance that Microsoft’s intellectual property’s (its software) maintenance, instantiability and employment by people, has attained primary competitive advantage in the marketplace, a move that comes at a time when it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to achieve competitive advantage over one another via the mere selection of commercial alternatives. With such a one of a kind CEO to talk about building up teams and strengthening practices, instead of focusing merely on targets and shares, Microsoft surely will have a lot of successful stories to share with the Business and IT world, in the days to come.