From Challenge to Triumph: The Inspiring Success Story of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

By – Anant Kumar

Welcome to another success story. Today, we are covering the success story of Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft), a person who is super motivated and doing incredible world-changing work. Since he is the role model for billions of people around the world, we thought, why don’t we look at his life story.

Microsoft was on a hunt for the successor of long-time CEO Steve Ballmer. It was a critical time for the company as the sales were in the slums. The five-month-long time hunt ended with all of the board members agreeing on Satya Nadella to take over as the next CEO of Microsoft. At the time, the company was facing tough competition from Apple and Samsung, it was Nadella who came up with the idea to take the company to the next level.

Satya Nadella

CEO of Microsoft

  • Born: 19 August 1967 (age 56 years), Hyderabad
  • Education: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1990), MORE
  • Nationality: American, Indian
  • Children: Zain Nadella, Divya Nadella, Tara Nadella
  • Spouse: Anupama Nadella (m. 1992)
  • Parents: Bukkapuram Nadella Yugandhar, Prabhavati Yugandhar
  • Books: Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone

Satya Nadella is an Indian-born American CEO (chief executive officer) of the worlds’ most leading computer software company Microsoft, who replaced billionaire Steve Ballmer as CEO in 2014. Before becoming one, he was Microsoft EVP of the cloud and enterprise group. He has steered the company away from a failing mobile strategy and focused on other segments, including cloud computing and augmented reality. In 2019 he was recognized as the 6th Innovative leader by Forbes, and in 2018, the 40th most powerful person in the world.

Early Life and Education

Nadella was born in a Telegu family on Aug 19, 1967, in Hyderabad, India. His mother’s name is Parbhavati and his father is Bukkapuram Nadella Yugandhar. His mother was a Sanskrit lecturer, while his father was an Administrative Service Officer of the 1962 batch.

“My father looked at my grades and was amazed as to how someone could be so bad! But he said, ‘it’s a marathon. You will catch up.’ My mother’s only question to me was ‘are you happy?’.”

Early on, he made a goal for a career far from the tech domain: professional cricket “Team sport teaches you about leadership,” he says. “Once, I was bowling trash for the high-school team and the Capitan took over, got a wicket-a big breakthrough – and returned the ball to me. I went on to the best bowling spell in my life! it was a leadership decision he made, to not break my confidence.”

Although he was an avid cricketer, he found that he cannot become a good professional cricketer, so he finally stopped pursuing a cricket career. Also, his parents wanted him to focus on study more than cricket.

After abandoning the cricket profession, Soon, Satya got attracted to computers. When He was 15, his father bought the first computer for him, Sinclair ZX Spectrum. After learning basic code, he found that just a few lines of code can make magic, which probably made him fall in love with a computer.

Later, he got an IBM PC with DOS and Microsoft Basic, and this was a real-life changing event for him.

Satya’s Education

Initially, Satya Nadella did not have any kind of ambitions. He wanted to stay in his hometown Hyderabad and study economics and political science, and later, he wanted to go for a bank job. But his father saw his potential, he encouraged him to dream big.

After completing schooling at the Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, Satya went to Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, Karnataka, where he studied electrical engineering. Later, He moved to the U.S for a master’s degree in computer science at the University of Wisconsin. While working at Microsoft, he pursued an MBA degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.


Satya Nadella started his career with Sun Microsystem in 1992, a company that sold computers and new software technology. While working at the company, he attended Microsoft’s interview. Fortunately, he got the job at Microsoft. Since then, his career was following an upward graph.

His responsibility at the company also increased. Satya was handed over with Microsoft’s cloud computing business. He played a very crucial role in shifting Microsoft’s business culture, database, Windows server, and developer tools to cloud infrastructure and services and he was the one, who was leading the team behind the developments of Microsoft Azure, it became one of the best cloud computing infrastructure.

In 2011, he took over Cloud Services, within just 2 years, he had created its revenue from $16.6B to $20.3B. After working as president of the server, in 2000, Nadella secured a first executive role as vice president of Microsoft Business Division.

Becoming the CEO of Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation

Technology corporation

  • Founders: Bill Gates, Paul Allen
  • Headquarters: Redmond, Washington, United States
  • Founded: 4 April 1975, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
  • Number of employees: 2,21,000 (2023)
  • Chairperson: Satya Nadella (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer)
  • Net income: 7,340 crores USD (2023)
  • Revenue: 19,827 crores USD (2022)

In 2014, the organization was looking for the successor of Steve Ballmer. John W. Thompson (Board of Directors) took responsibility to find a new CEO. On January 24, 2014, Satya got a mail from Jon W. Thompson. In this email, it was written that “We have something to talk about.”

He heard the news that he is going to be the new CEO of Microsoft. It took him some time to comprehend the message. On Feb 4, 2014, Satya Nadella became the CEO of Microsoft.

After becoming the CEO, Satya wrote an email to his employees in which he motivated him to believe that “Nothing is impossible”. Ever since Nadella became CEO, the company has seen immense growth; by 2018, the company stock had tripled with a 27% annual growth rate.

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