Happy Birthday Satya Nadella: An Inspirational Leader Yet Lifelong Learner

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His never-ending thirst for knowledge and desire to learn new things helped him to achieve new heights in his two decades of professional career. His love for cricket helped develop leadership and teamwork skills, which he carried throughout his career. His journey from computer engineer to CEO of the world’s third most valuable company is inspiring to all budding and aspiring business leaders today. On the occasion of his 55th birthday, we bring a few interesting yet less-known facts about Satya Narayana Nadella, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Date of Birth: 19 August 1967

Net Worth: ~$320 million

  1. Satya Nadella’s parents: Satya Nadella was born in Hyderabad, India. His mother, Prabhavati, was a Sanskrit lecturer, and his father, Bukkapuram Nadella Yugandhar, was a former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1962 batch and former Planning Commission member.
  2. Satya Nadella’s education: In 1988, Nadella completed his Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics & Communication from the Manipal Institute of Technology, in Karnataka. Nadella moved to the United States for further studies. In 1990, he received his master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Later in 1997, he received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business while continuing to work full-time at Microsoft.
  3. Satya Nadella’s favourite sport has always been cricket, which also serves as his inspiration. One of the incidents occurred while Nadella was playing cricket at Hyderabad Public School as a bowler. The school’s captain saw Nadella bowling some really unimpressive shots, but soon, the captain took control of the next over of bowling, helped the team make a much-needed breakthrough, and then handed the ball back to Nadella in the following over. “What made him do that? Is this what they call leadership?”, Satya Nadella asked these questions to himself. This taught him more about teamwork and leadership which he carried with him throughout his career.
  4. Nadella’s first job was at Sun Microsystems as a member of the technical staff, where he worked for almost 2 years. In 1992, Satya Nadella joined Microsoft as an engineer.
  5. Satya Nadella’s career graph at Microsoft rose steadily. In 1999, he landed his first executive role as Vice President of Microsoft bCentral Business Web Services. Two years later in 2001, he was promoted to Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Business Solutions Group. In 2007, Nadella was promoted to Senior Vice President of research and development for Microsoft’s Online Services Division. From 2008 to 2009, he was Senior Vice President, Search, Portal, and Advertising. Between 2011 and 2013, he served as President of Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business.
  6. Nadella was also instrumental in bringing some of Microsoft’s most well-known technologies, including its database, Windows server, and developer tools, to the Azure cloud. Under his leadership, the company’s revenue from Cloud Services increased from $16.6 billion in 2012 to $20.3 billion in 2013. Today, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform outperforms Google in terms of revenue.
  7. On 4 February 2014, Satya Nadella became CEO of Microsoft. He was, in fact, the third Chief Executive Officer in Microsoft’s 40-year history, after the co-founder Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
  8. Microsoft witnessed an unprecedented success under Satya Nadella’s leadership. In Jun 2021, Microsoft ensured its place in history by touching the $2 trillion market cap.
  9. As Microsoft CEO, he was constantly hungry for knowledge and eager to learn new things. In his first email to Microsoft employees, he described himself as a “lifelong learner.” His book collection is enormous. He admitted in one of his interviews, “I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete”.
  10. A few months after Nadella took over as CEO, Bill Gates in one of the interviews told that he was happy about Nadella’s work and his new sense of energy. He also told taking Office to make it better by introducing long-promised features like “Delve” that helps the user to strain out all data stored across multiple Microsoft products to find what they need and he finds Nadella to be moving towards this. Finally, in September 2014 Microsoft rolled out the new feature “Delve.”
  11. Satya Nadella’s Awards and recognition: In 2018, Satya Nadella was ranked 40 on Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful people. In 2019, Forbes ranked him 6th on its list of America’s Most Innovative Leaders. In the same year, he received the titles of Financial Times Person of the Year and Fortune magazine Businessperson of the Year. In 2020, Nadella was honoured with the Global Indian Business Icon at CNBC-TV18’s 15th India Business Leader Awards (IBLA) ceremony in Mumbai. In 2022, Nadella was awarded Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in India by the Government of India.
  12. Satya Nadella family: In 1992, Satya Narayana Nadella married Anupama. Their love blossomed on the campus of Manipal University, where Anupama, a junior at the time, was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Architecture. Interestingly, the coincidences don’t end there as both Nadella and Anupama’s father worked for P V Narasimha Rao while he was India’s Prime Minister.

“You renew yourself every day. Sometimes you’re successful, sometimes your not, but it’s the average that counts.”

The above words of a lifelong learner depict him and his everlasting passion for learning. With amazing ventures under his arm and a true inspirational leader for his team and lots to give out to the community, it is been a small endeavor to grace his birthday occasion.

Disclaimer: The article is a part of the B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from across Industries, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators, or renewed leaders who moved the industry with their exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, and Julian Assange, by following this link or subscribing to your daily newsletter.


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