Satya Nadella on how he was told that he is the new CEO of Microsoft

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Satya Nadella on how he was told that he is the new CEO of Microsoft
Satya Nadella on how he was told that he is the new CEO of Microsoft

In February 2014, Satya Nadella was named as Microsoft CEO.

Recently the 2023 Axel Springer Award was awarded to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. He sat for an interview at the Berlin headquarters of Axel Springer’s. He spoke about his career journey, Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI, and leadership, among other topics during the conversation. Also, he shared his story of becoming the CEO of Microsoft. In February 2014, Satya Nadella was named as Microsoft CEO.

Talking about his reaction when he got to know about Ballmer’s departure, he said, “Having grown up at Microsoft, first during Bill’s tenure, and then Steve’s tenure, I don’t think I ever got up in the morning and thought that someday Microsoft would have neither Bill nor Steve. And quite frankly, when Steve announced that he was going to leave, it was a real shock to me.”

“I remember quite distinctly one of the board members asking me, “Do you want to be the CEO?” And I replied, “Only if you want me to be the CEO.” I told this to Steve, because the board members were like, “You know, if you want to be the CEO, you really need to want to be the CEO.” I said, “God, I’ve not thought about it, I don’t know.” Steve was very interesting. He said, “It’s too late to change, so just be yourself and see what happens,” he said.

Nadella further added, “In retrospect, I think the board did what they had to do in the succession process. They looked broadly on the outside, and they looked deep on the inside, and then they made their decision.”

Picked by the Microsoft board for the CEO’s position, Nadella was among the four top candidates. Ford CEO Alan Mulally, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, and former Skype president Tony Bates were the other three candidates.

“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Bill Gates on the announcement then. “Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth,” Gates statement added.

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