When I talked with Satya about this event a couple of months ago, I wasn’t sure where Microsoft fit into the story. But a few minutes of conversation convinced me we must have been reading each other’s mail. One of the biggest challenges of the 21st century is to use technology to empower workers to take on new challenges, not to cut costs by eliminating them. Satya has clearly pointed Microsoft at this challenge, asking what it means to be a productivity software company for 21st century workers. From its traditional office productivity tools, it has branched out to collaboration platforms like SharePoint and Skype, intelligent assistants like Cortana (where Microsoft is ahead of Apple and Google in opening its platform to developers), to augmented reality platforms like Hololens (where Microsoft seems to be the only major player focusing on education and productivity rather than simply on entertainment). Microsoft seems squarely focused on the challenge of putting people effectively to work.
— Tim O’Reilly
We live in a mobile-first and cloud-first world. Computing is ubiquitous and experiences span devices and exhibit ambient intelligence. Billions of sensors, screens and devices—in conference rooms, living rooms, cities, cars, phones, PCs—are forming a vast network and streams of data that simply disappear into the background of our lives. This computing power will digitize nearly everything around us and will derive insights from all of the data being generated by interactions among people and between people and machines. We are moving from a world where computing power was scarce to a place where it now is almost limitless, and where the true scarce commodity is increasingly human attention.
At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more.
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. The best code is poetry.
Rainer Maria Rilke’s words say it best: “The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.” We must each have the courage to transform as individuals. We must ask ourselves, what idea can I bring to life? What insight can I illuminate? What individual life could I change? What customer can I delight? What new skill could I learn? What team could I help build? What orthodoxy should I question?
Satya Nadella is chief executive officer of Microsoft. Before being named CEO on February 4, 2014, Nadella held leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer businesses across the company. After joining Microsoft in 1992, Nadella quickly became known within the company as a leader who could span a breadth of technologies and businesses to transform some of Microsoft’s biggest product offerings.
Prior to his role as CEO, Nadella was executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, one of the company’s fastest-growing and most profitable businesses. While Nadella was there, the group’s revenue increased by 22 percent, and its profits by 33 percent. Previously, Nadella led R&D for the Online Services Division, guiding the development of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world, to support products including Bing, Xbox, and Office.
Before joining Microsoft, Nadella was a member of the technology staff at Sun Microsystems.
As Microsoft’s third CEO (succeeding Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates), Satya Nadella brings a relentless drive for innovation and a spirit of collaboration to the role. He says he joined Microsoft 22 years ago because he saw how clearly Microsoft empowers people to do magical things and ultimately make the world a better place. Many companies, he explains, “aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources and perseverance. Microsoft has proven that it has all three in abundance.”
Originally from Hyderabad, India, where he was born on August 19, 1967, Nadella now lives in Bellevue, Wash. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. Nadella is married and has three children. In his spare time, he loves to read poetry and follows cricket, a sport he played in school as a child.
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