Who exactly is Satya Nadella?

One of the hottest reports that I’ve heard today was related to just the prestigious CEO position at Microsoft. For weeks, we've been hearing of Alan Mulally coming down from Ford to get seated at Microsoft and later disbanded it when Ford spoke that he was not going out of the company for many more years. Then it was Stephen Elop, former Nokia CEO who was highly rumoured to replace Steve Ballmer. And we've also heard a couple of other famous names being read out. But now, it seems things have taken a different direction as a report from Bloomberg said about the stepping down of Gates from Chairman position (which mostly won’t be true, I hope) and the second thing about an unfamiliar Indian who goes by the name Satya Nadella becoming the coveted CEO of the tech-giant.

Now hold on a minute. Who is this guy? We've heard many names before but not this one. And that too, for CEO position? Out of nowhere? Unbelievable. My instant reaction was face-palm. Not just because I wanted to be the first Indian to reach that position (hopefully) but because the name didn’t ring any bells. I knew a lot of names at Microsoft but not this one. That too, an Indian. My first instinct was like many other, check his bio. Trust me, every Indian would do this – especially the Indian media. When I searched in Google for the obvious subject, almost every digital journalist had published the same news. What made me identify the Indian ones was simply the title itself – "X things you should know about Satya Nadella". And every site describe his complete details starting from the education corner itself. And boy I was so glad to see that he was not an IITian (I hate them a lot – yes, I’m just a student, not a graduate) and that he did most of his education abroad.

So, let me be that same old Indian and explain it to you the details you would like to hear first.

A Bio-sketch

Satya Nadella, aged 47, was born in Hyderabad (Geeky city or so I heard). He got his bachelors in electronics and communication from Manipal University (according to Wikipedia) and continued the rest of his studies abroad. He got his degree in MS Computer Science from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (take that IIT!). He also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, another prestigious institute that’s obviously not in India.

Satya first worked at Sun Microsystems for a very short-term and switched to Microsoft in 1992 as the senior vice president of R&D for the Online Services Division and vice president of the Microsoft Business Division. Satya played key-roles during his days at Microsoft and was reportedly a rising star of the company although we’ve never heard of him much. He also worked a great lot to bring Microsoft’s search platform, Bing to where it stands today.

Microsoft and Satya

That’s the first part. I said that he has been a driving force in his job. 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 bringing 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. He is now the VP of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company’s computing platforms, developer tools and cloud services. Most of these are Wikipedia and their extent of truth, I don’t know.

Taking a look at some of his keynotes and interviews, he’s a lot different from any typical Indian success holder. There’s Sundar Pichai on one end who just recently got into news when he was promoted to the position of leader of the Android division at Google. But I don’t like him much because – a. He’s an IITian, b. His talks are not impressive. I expected a typical Sundar Pichai in Satya but when I just started to see these interviews, I got pretty impressed.
Google's Sundar Pichai. Yet another Indian who sits on a reputed position at Google.
I already read the comments below the YouTube video where some people were shouting to make him the next CEO and some even quoted him to be “Indian Bill Gates”. Sure, sure. What will we do with Azim Premji then? And what about me?

Satya is just different from the rest of the Indians who boast themselves sitting at the heads of these MNPs. Moreover, he’s got the best accent I’ve ever heard from an Indian entrepreneur. Again, his knowledge levels on the subjects he speak is quite impressive but its a lot more technical than being more which he needs to improve to get better momentum for his current job and his future job if he ever becomes the CEO.

And he looks perfect too. Slim guy and quite boney but he seems smart enough to fit such a role. But that comes later. By taking a look at these footages, I’m made to believe that there exists Indians who did broke the chains of Indian education and went beyond to become famous themselves – one being this guy. I don’t know if he was a nerd (looks like one) but he certainly didn't went to IIT which he should’ve if he was one. And I don’t know if his family is rich or stuff like that. There’s Google and there’s your keyboard.

Could he be the Chosen One?

Frankly, CEO means a big job. What’s holding him back is his lack of knowledge of the consumer side. He knows well about the jobs he must take care of and the technicality that’s present. And he did implemented most of these very successfully which made him a star at the company. But how much he can understand and give the consumer? I really don’t know.

Another thing that would prevent him from being the CEO would be the apparent success at his current role. As said in an article at Microsoft-News, his success will prevent him from getting this job – mostly. He’s a valuable asset who proved a great lot by taking care of the current position providing excellent service to Enterprise and leading the cloud-platform to jackpot. If the company wants to make him the CEO, they would also need someone as smart as Satya at his current position to prevent any leaks of profits in the future.

As for my opinion – I would vote yes considering the current list of nominees for the coveted position. Because the rest of the people are mostly inexperienced in terms of technicality. They do have the leadership qualities but when it comes to technicality, Satya just blows everyone away. And he’s an Indian too – they are always the smartest people in all corners of the world. But unlike the rest, he’s a different guy who has adapted himself to the new environments pretty much and has the smartness of an Indian and the talks and guts of some other person. This makes him a suitable person for the prestigious role and that also increases the chances of success of the future CEO to earn more for Microsoft.

Sure, I would be sad. But for the greater good, I wouldn’t mind. Let’s see who’ll be what in the next few days. The official announcement is not too far – I can smell that.