10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Image via Microsoft

Image via Microsoft

Newly-appointed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will undoubtedly be capturing headlines for years to come. But just like his predecessor Steve Ballmer, and even Bill Gates before him, Nadella had a life before Microsoft. Here are 10 facts you never knew about the new CEO:

1. Nadella is the first foreign-born CEO of Microsoft. Hailing from Hyderabad, India, Nadella was born in 1967 to a Telugu-speaking family and attended the Hyderabad Public School of Begumpet.

2. Nadella obtained a bachelor of electrical engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology in India. Although his primary interest was computer science, field was not offered at the school. He then moved to the United States where he went on to earn an MS in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MBA from the University of Chicago. While earning his MBA, Nadella worked on an operating system that would ultimately become Windows NT.

I used to fly to Chicago Friday nights, attend classes Saturdays and come back to Redmond to work during the week,” Nadella said, according to Microsoft's website.

3. Prior to joining Microsoft in 1992, Nadella worked with Sun Microsystems on the company’s technology staff.  While at Microsoft, Nadella has served as a technologist, president of the server and tools business, senior VP of R&D for the online-services division, VP of the business division, senior VP of search, portal and advertising-platform group, VP of development for the business-solutions group, and general manager of consumer and commerce. He played a major role in Microsoft’s transition to the cloud.

I believe over the next decades computing will become even more ubiquitous and intelligence will become ambient,” Nadella said in his email to Microsoft employees. “The coevolution of software and new hardware form factors will intermediate and digitize — many of the things we do and experience in business, life and our world. This will be made possible by an ever-growing network of connected devices, incredible computing capacity from the cloud, insights from big data, and intelligence from machine learning.”

4. Nedella married his high-school sweetheart Anupama in 1992. Together they have three children.

5. Nadella enjoys American and Indian poetry. “It's like code,” he said, according to Microsoft's website. “You're trying to take something that can be described in many, many sentences and pages of prose, but you can convert it into a couple lines of poetry and you still get the essence, so it's that compression.”

6. Nadella is a fan of the game cricket, a sport he played while he was in school. Of his passion, Nadella has said: “I think playing cricket taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career.”

7. He signs up for online courses in his free time. Of lifelong learning, Nadella has said he is “crazy ambitious in the 15 minutes I have in the morning.”

8. A resident of Bellevue, Wash., Nadella is also a Seahawks fan. After the Super Bowl he tweeted congratulations to Seahawks owner Paul Allen.

Although he has more than 128,000 Twitter followers, he’s only tweeted 28 times since his account debuted five years ago.

9. As CEO of Microsoft, Nadella is now the most powerful Indian-born tech executive in the world, according to Reuters.

10. Despite his diverse background, Nadella is quick to acknowledge those who came before him. In his first internal email as CEO, Nadella gave a nod to both Ballmer and Gates:

Today is a very humbling day for me,” he wrote. “I've been fortunate to work closely with both Bill and [former CEO Steve Ballmer] in my different roles at Microsoft, and as I step in as CEO, I've asked Bill to devote additional time to the company, focused on technology and products.”

Samantha Lile