Biography of Satya Nadella

Biography of Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella – Business Executive


Full name: Satya Narayana Nadella

Date of birth: 19 August 1967 (age 49)

Place of birth: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India (now Telangana, India)

Citizenship: United States

Occupation: CEO of Microsoft Corporation (2014-present)

Spouse: Anupama Nadella (m. 1992)

Children: Divya Nadella, Tara Nadella, Zain Nadella


Early Life

Satya Nadella, in full Satya Narayana Nadella was born on August 19, 1967, in Hyderabad, India. He is an Indian-born business executive who was CEO of the computer-software company Microsoft (2014– present). Before becoming CEO of Microsoft, he was Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company’s computing platforms, developer tools and cloud computing services.

Satya Nadella is an Indian engineer who has joined the league of technological wizards like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates by the virtue of his great work and dedication. Nadella’s educational background undoubtedly played a great role in shaping his technical and leadership abilities. After pursuing a degree in ‘Electrical Engineering’ from the reputed ‘Manipal Institute of Technology’ located in India, this tech wizard relocated to the United States. Here, he studied at esteemed institutions like the ‘University of Wisconsin’ and the ‘Booth School of Business’. Nadella’s life changed completely after he joined the IT giant ‘Microsoft’. Slowly but steadily he grabbed bigger opportunities at the enterprise and went on to manage several divisions of the company. One of Satya’s path-breaking accomplishments within the firm was to pave the way for the cloud computing technology, which later went on to become a trendsetter. Nadella even became an important stakeholder in the firm and owned stocks worth millions of dollars and earned a handsome salary, much higher than many engineers of his kind. He became a household name in 2014 after being crowned the ‘CEO’ of ‘Microsoft’. The tech wizard soon became popular amongst sections of the media across the world and is often invited as a guest speaker to many events across the United States.


Childhood and Educational Life

Satya Nadella is the son of Bukkapuram Nadella Yugandher, who was born on the 19th of August, 1967, in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India (now in the state of Telangana). His father was a government officer, working for the ‘Indian Administrative Service’.

He pursued his primary education at the ‘Hyderabad Public School’, located in the Begumpet region of the city. He then moved to the prestigious ‘Manipal Institute of Technology’, located in the Manipal town of Karnataka.

In 1988, Nadella graduated from this renowned institution and was thinking of moving out of the country to pursue his higher studies. He then got admitted to the reputed ‘University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’ located in the United States to pursue his ‘Masters of Science’ (M.S) degree. He then graduated from the renowned university in 1990.

His desire to excel in the corporate world also motivated Nadella to move to one of the best business schools in the world, the ‘Booth School of Business’ affiliated to the ‘University of Chicago. He received a ‘Masters of Business Administration’ (MBA) degree from this prestigious institution.


Personal Life & Legacy

Satya got married to Anupama in 1992, who was the daughter of his father’s friend. He first met his wife when they were both students at Hyderabad Public School in the early 1980s. The families had known each other for thirty years and the marriage was arranged by their parents. The couple later became parents to three children, which included two daughters and a son. The family currently resides in the Bellevue county region, Washington D.C.

He was widely criticized online, when his remark on hike of salaries for female employees came across as biased against women, at the ‘Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing’ event.

Nadella is an avid reader of American and Indian poetry. He also has an interest in cricket (his passion growing up), having played on his school team. He has mentioned having learned something about leadership and teamwork from cricket.

He calls himself a lifelong learner and takes online classes in his spare time.


Working Career

After completing his education, Nadella joined the well-known firm ‘Sun Microsystems’. He worked in this company for a brief period and then moved to the Silicon-valley giant ‘Microsoft’, in 1992.

At Microsoft, 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 world.

Nadella started climbing the corporate ladder steadily while working at ‘Microsoft’. He then went on to make important decisions in the interest of the firm.

He was one of the few employees who suggested the concept of cloud computing to the firm. Eventually the company dedicated lot of its time and resources to the development of this technology. The result was the germination of one of the world’s largest cloud based entities, named ‘Microsoft Azure’.

Satya was later given the responsibility to control the ‘Research & Development’ department, which belonged to the ‘Online Service Division’ and was even appointed as the senior vice-president of the same. He joined this department in 2007 and continued being a part of it for the next four years.

Later, he was made the president of Microsoft’s $19 billion Server and Tools Business and led a transformation of the company’s business and technology culture from client services to cloud infrastructure and services. He has been credited for helping bring Microsoft’s database, Windows Server and developer tools to its Azure cloud. The revenue from Cloud Services grew to $20.3 billion in June 2013 from $16.6 billion when he took over in 2011.

Nadella’s 2013 base salary was nearly $700,000, for a total compensation, with stock bonuses, of $7.6 million.

After working in the firm for a period of twenty two years, Nadella was promoted to the designation of the CEO of ‘Microsoft’ in 2014.

In October 2014, Nadella courted controversy when he made a statement that women should not ask for a raise and should trust the system. The statement was made while he was attending an event on Women in Computing in Phoenix, AZ. Nadella was roundly criticised for the statement and he apologised later on twitter. He later sent an email to Microsoft Employees admitting he was “Completely wrong”

In the two years that have since passed, Nadella is viewed as having done well. With the Microsoft stock having risen more than 60% since he took over.

As the CEO of Microsoft, he is one of the most powerful Indian-born tech executives in the world.

When Nadella took on the role of CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates re-joined the company to become his personal mentor.


Awards and Honours

  • CNN-IBN Indian of the Year Global Indian