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Satya Nadella: The Secret of Satya's Success

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Satya Nadella: The CEO of Microsoft
In February 2014, Satya Nadella, an Indian American was announced as the next choice of Microsoft Corp, the biggest Tech Company in the world. He was only the third person to hold this illustrious office after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, both of whom were legends in their own rights. Nadella’s announcement was hailed by many as the right move for reviving a company that was slowly losing ground to its competitors. Many pundits predicted that Nadella was the best person in terms of talent and temperament to bring about a turnaround In the company’s growth story and regain its lost market share. Clearly Nadella had won the respect of many tech insiders as a person with not just technical know-how but also people skills. So who is Satya Nadella, and more importantly what are the factors that shaped his illustrious career, or to put it in another way, is there a secret sauce that made him what he is? Read on!


Satya Nadella’s early education and career
Satya Nadella was born on 19th August 1967 in Hyderabad, India. His father was a civil servant in the Indian Administrative Services, and his mother was a professor. He completed his schooling from the Hyderabad Public School, and did his engineering in Electronics from Manipal Institute of Technology. He then went to USA to pursue a MS in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and subsequently MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. After graduating from the University of Chicago, Satya Nadella worked at Sun Microsystems for a brief period as a part of the technology division, before joining Microsoft in 1992 as a program manager. At Microsoft, Satya Nadella was instrumental in spearheading many successful projects, including Bing- Microsoft’s answer to Google Search, and the move to cloud computing on the Azure platform. The revenue from cloud services had grown from 16.6 billion USD to 20.3 billion USD , a growth rate of 7.5% in three years (2011-2013) under his leadership. He held many positions of leadership in his 22 year span at Microsoft before his appointment as CEO, notable among them being, President of the Server and Tools Division, Vice President of the Business Division, Corporate VP of p.Business Solutions and Search and Advertising Platform, Executive VP of Cloud and Enterprise group amongst others.


The legacy of Bill Gates
In his best-selling book ‘Outliers’ Malcom Gladwell makes an interesting point. Many of the success stories or ‘Outliers’ as he calls them in the book, are touted as classic rags to riches- small town kids who become bigshot Industrialist on sheer grit and hard-work kind of stories. However the truth is often quite different. These successful people almost always have a hidden force or series of events that shape their illustrious destiny. Gladwell used the case of the founder of Microsoft to make his point. Many people see Bill Gates as the classical example of the boy who despite being a dropout from school went on to build Microsoft, the largest Technology Company in the world. The truth however, Maxwell argued is in the details. Bill Gates was schooled at the elite Lakeside High school. Midway through his second year, the school started a computer club. This was in 1968, a time when most schools did not have computer clubs and it was rare for a student to gain access to a computer. According to Maxwell, Bill Gates, by the time he had completed high school had been practicing programming for seven consecutive years – A rare opportunity for a teenager in those days. This early exposure to programming was instrumental in shaping his success as founder of Microsoft amongst other factors.


Satya Nadella: The secret Sauce behind his Success
Closer home, the story of Indian born Satya Nadella, current CEO of Microsoft, seems almost similar. Satya Nadella shot to fame, when he was announced as the third CEO of Microsoft Corp after Bill Gates and Satya Nadella. Up until then, most of us, except for a few tech insiders hadn’t even heard about him. But the days around the time the announcement was being made, the media was abuzz with stories of the local Hyderabad boy, making it big in the world of technology. Some papers hailed his appointment as a shining example of a middle class boy rising to heights in the biggest technology company in the world. However, here too we can say the truth is in the details. If you observe the education of Nadella he was educated at one of the best schools in Hyderabad- The Hyderabad Public School’ what is more he went on to do his engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology, again one of the top ranked universities for engineering and what seems like the most fruitful decision of all, decided to pursue further studies in America by completing his MS in Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin and rounded off his education with a degree in Management from the University of Chicago. Consider the scenario, If Satya Nadella, had decided to take up a job in India after completing his engineering as many students often do, would he then have had the opportunity to join the world’s biggest tech company as a program managerin 1990 as a program manage, and rise steadily through its ranks to the top position of CEO of the Company. Satya Nadella’s story once again clearly illustrates the truth in the age old adage –“If you want to fly high, you must first let go of the branch you are sitting on” If Satya Nadella’s story has inspired you, then get in touch. with us at Global Tree, the best Overseas Education Consultants in the Country. We will help you rise high!