Entrepreneurs take pride in Nadella becoming Microsoft CEO
Several entrepreneurs have expressed their pride in home universities in the wake of India-educated Satya Nadella becoming the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft.
Microsoft named 22-year company veteran Satya Nadella as its next Chief Executive Officer on February 4, and said co-founder Bill Gates would step down as the chairman and advise the new CEO on technology, marking an epochal change of control at the company that drove the PC revolution.
Nadella, a 46-year old born in India who led the creation of Microsoft's Internet-based, or "cloud" computing services, is only Microsoft's third CEO in 39 years, taking over from Steve Ballmer, who inherited the job from Gates in 2000.
Mohandas Pai, the Chairman of Manipal Global Education from where Nadella graduated, said: "I think his appointment sends a message to everybody that America is a land of opportunity, it's a land based upon merit, it welcomes everybody and anybody who is merited and talented to come and work. American companies appoint the most talented, the best person they have to run companies. I think it's a great message for India that we have to build a culture based upon merit and allow the flowering of merit. It's a great day for India, great day for Satya and I wish him all the best."
Mohandas Pai also said that the challenge for Nadella is to bring Microsoft back on track, which has done extremely well, dominated the enterprise market and was dominating the consumer market which is now seeing competition.
Manipal University CEO Ranjan Pai said: "It's a challenging task for him I think. It is a huge role that he has to play in bringing back Microsoft. So I wish him all the best and I am sure he will do very well."
Biocon Limited Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said: "I think it's a great pride for India that people who have been educated in this country are making their mark on the global stage."
The move ends a five-month search process at the Redmond, Washington-based company, triggered by the August announcement of Ballmer's decision to retire. That was longer than many investors had expected.
Residents in Hyderabad welcomed the move and said it instills hope in the next generation that even Indians could shine bright at global level.
"I am very happy that an Indian has become the CEO of Microsoft. I hope that he brings many laurels to Microsoft in future also and make India proud," said Hyderabad resident Dipika Rao.
"Being an Andhra guy I am really happy for that and it's very good to have him as the CEO of Microsoft," said another resident of Hyderabad, Prasad Nichenametla.
Born in 1967 and educated in India and the United States, Nadella's tech career started at internet software pioneer Sun Microsystems. He joined Microsoft in 1992 and quickly climbed the corporate ladder with leading roles in the Office and Bing search-engine teams.
The new Microsoft focuses on "devices and services" rather than licensing software, and seeks to emulate Apple's success in marrying popular online services with attractive gadgets.
Set by the retiring Ballmer last year, that vision has proven unpopular with investors hoping either that Microsoft will stop ploughing billions into mobile devices - as it is doing with its Nokia acquisition - or come up with new products to take on mobile leaders Apple Inc and Google Inc.
Nadella has pushed the company in the direction of an Internet-based future, using its network of vast datacenters to host products such as Office 365, a subscription-based online version of its ubiquitous business software.
The move is also a significant shift for Gates, who along with Apple's Steve Jobs was one of the key forces who shaped the personal computer revolution of the late 20th century, making him an icon of the new information economy and the world's richest person in the process.
Gates, 58, left day-to-day work at Microsoft in 2008 to focus on philanthropy at his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which he says is still his main job. He owns 4.3 percent of Microsoft's outstanding shares.
Investors and analysts are already weighing how effective Nadella will be in re-igniting the company's mobile ambitions and satisfying Wall Street's hunger for cash.
Microsoft faces a slow erosion of its PC-centric Windows and Office franchises and needs somehow to challenge Apple Inc and Google Inc in the new realm of mobile computing. At the same time, some investors are campaigning for retrenchment and a bigger cut of the company's massive cash pile.
Most agree that Nadella's background makes him a safe pair of hands to take the company forward, but there remains a question over his ability to make Microsoft a hit with consumers or with impatient shareholders.
Nadella, who describes himself as a cricket and poetry lover, called the appointment "humbling" in an email to employees. In a videotaped statement, he said he would focus on "ruthlessly" removing any obstacles to innovation.
(Posted on 06-02-2014)