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Nadella takes the reins as Microsoft's new CEO
Tuesday was a humbling day for Satya Nadella, the new chief executive officer for Microsoft Corp.
The 46-year-old began a new, monumental phase of his Microsoft journey, one which he launched 22 years ago at the Redmond company.
Remembering that first day on the job, Nadella said in an email to employees: "I came here because I believed Microsoft was the best company in the world. I saw then how clearly we empower people to do magical things with our creations and ultimately make the world a better place. I knew there was no better company to join if I wanted to make a difference. This is the very same inspiration that continues to drive me today."
Microsoft's board of directors appointed Nadella — who previously served as executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise Group — as CEO and member of the board of directors.
Former CEO Steve Ballmer tagged Tuesday as an exciting day and is "pumped for the future of Microsoft" with Nadella at the helm, he said in an email to employees. Ballmer describes Nadella as a proven leader with strong technical skills and great business insights.
"I have worked closely with Satya for many years and I have seen these skills many times. He is not alone, though. Our senior leadership team has never been stronger, and together this group will drive us forward," said Ballmer, who announced on Aug. 23, 2013 that he would step down once his successor was chosen.
In a press release, Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder and member of the board of directors, said he is impressed with Nadella's "hardcore engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together.”
With Nadella as CEO, Gates' new role on the board will be founder and technology adviser, and he will support Nadella in shaping technology and product direction. John Thompson is now chairman of the board of directors and remains an independent director on the board.
Nadella was born in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, in India and earned a bachelor of engineering in electronics and a communication degree from the Manipal Institute of Technology in Karnataka.
Rajan Zed, who is chairperson of the Indo-American Leadership Confederation, noted in a press release from his office in Nevada: "We applaud Nadella's appointment. (He is) an outstanding executive who has demonstrated to be a sincere and innovative leader and visionary in engineering, technology, strategy and business. (He is) committed to take Microsoft to the next level."
Nadella has been married for 22 years and has three children. His family and life experience have driven him to success, he said in his email.
"Many who know me say I am also defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning. I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things," he said.
Nadella noted that he wants to change the world through technology that empowers people to do amazing things.
"While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more. Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation. This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft," he said. "Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places — as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world."