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Immigrant Profile: Satya Nadella

Background

Satya Nadella was born in Hyderabad, India on August 19, 1967. His father was Bukkapuram Nadella Yugandher, a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), and his mother was Prabhavati Yugandhar, a lecturer in Sanskrit.

Nadella attended school in India and earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at India’s Manipal Institute of Technology in 1988, after which he decided to pursue his master’s degree in another country.

Immigration to the United States

While looking at a number of universities to complete his master’s degree, he was accepted into the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the United States. He received his master’s of science in computer science in 1990 and then, in 1997, while an employee at Microsoft, his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Professional Background & Achievements

Once Nadella completed his master’s degree, he worked for Sun Microsystems briefly before relocating in 1992 to Silicon Valley to begin his career at Microsoft. (He commuted every weekend from his job at Microsoft near Seattle to Chicago to finish his MBA. Now that’s dedication.) Nadella was an essential part of Microsoft in a number of areas, rising to corporate vice president of Microsoft Solutions in 2001, executive vice president of Microsoft Online Services in 2007, and president of the Servers and Tools Division, where he was able to make his most notable contributions, in the area of cloud computing. Microsoft, believing in Nadella’s concepts, spent much time and resources to develop cloud technology. The result was Microsoft Azure, the largest cloud-based system in the world.

Contributions to the U.S. Economy

The creation of cloud computing for Microsoft was perhaps one of Nadella’s greatest contributions to the world. As far as Microsoft revenues were concerned, the cloud computing division went from $16.6 billion in 2011 to $20.6 billion by 2013 during the period when Nadella became the head of his division. Within four years of his appointment in 2014 to CEO of Microsoft itself, the company’s revenues tripled.

Since Nadella’s promotion to CEO, he has taken risks that have paid off handsomely for both Microsoft and its customers. Cloud computing has become a way of life for most U.S. (and international) computer users, such that computers barely have storage drives anymore, and fewer users are still fumbling with flash drives and data lost from hard drive crashes. (And, perhaps most important, he killed the terrible Windows 8 platform that predated his move into the CEO’s office and replaced it with Windows 10.)

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