A Brief Glimpse At Satya “Nutella” Nadella, Possibly Microsoft’s Next CEO

This is the first part in a series of 5 posts, in which we will take a very brief look at each of the potential candidates for Microsoft’s next CEO.  This will not be an analysis if the individual is the right person for the job, but just some background information and career highlights.  Each of the candidates go through a very thorough vetting process by the board, below is a brief glimpse at some of the information they may be looking at.

Satya Nadella is the only Indian and youngest candidate in the running for the next CEO at Microsoft.  He has a reputation for driving people to work hard and demands excellence.  Outside of work, he is said to be a sweet and charming individual, which has earned him the nickname Satya “Nutella” due to his chocolate brown skin color.  Some observers have also mentioned a transformation in Nadella’s image, similar to that of J Allard, following the departure of Bill Gates and Bob Muglia.  Nadella is in better physical shape compared to 2009, wears sharper suits, and now keeps a shaven head.  Important to also note that Nadella is one of two candidates that worked directly with Bill Gates which may help his chances of becoming CEO (the other being Kevin Turner).


  • 1969
  • Age: ~44
  • Youngest candidate for CEO
  • Place of Birth: Hyderabad, India


  • Hyderabad Public School
  • Manipal Institute of Technology – BS Electronic Engineering in Electronics and Communication
  • University of Chicago – MBA
  • University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee – Masters in Computer Science
  • Speaks Telugu and Hindi in addition to English


  • Started off at Sun Microsystems
  • Joined Microsoft in 1992
    • Senior vice president of R&D for the Online Services Division
    • Vice president of the Microsoft Business Division
    • President of Server and Tools Business
    • Was picked by Ballmer after Bob Muglia was fired
    • Credited with leading transition to the cloud at a rapid pace
    • Currently Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise
    • Reports directly to Ballmer

nadella wife

(Anu Nadella)

Personal Life

  • He is married
  • His wife, Anupama V Nadella, also attended Hyderabad Public School
  • His parents (and his wife’s parents) live in Hyderabad, he visits India at least once a year to see them
  • Big cricket fan, keeps track of VVS Laxman who is from Hyderabad
  • I believe he has two daughters and a son (could be wrong about this)
  • Lives in Bellevue currently


  • SategB

    Thanks for this series. Look forward to the rest.

  • Oren

    If you polled MS employees with the five finalists as options, Satya would almost certainly win in a landslide. He’s sharp, strategic, and leads one of the most successful areas of the company.

  • The1nChicago

    This will never happen. He is qualified, but they are going for Mulally.

    • MSFTmanJosh

      Mulally would destroy Microsoft

      • neva

        Looks like the perfect candidate then…
        Every single one of them looks promissing and amazing at first and then they disapoint. See Stephen Elop for example: He was amazing untill rumours came out about selling Bing and XBox. That made me think: he is the responsable for Microsoft to start building Smartphones BUT he is (will be) also the responsable for stopping Nokia from building any kind of phones. I only started liking Nokia because of Windows Phone and always hated Symbian but that’s a great loss anyway…
        I love Microsoft but I’m starting to believe it will not take much time to fall after Balmer departure.
        That’s what appens when a passionate leader leaves and the company get’s controlled by Shareholders and “Economics People”.
        “But that can’t happen to Microsoft! It’s a company too big to fail!”
        So it was HP and Apple, both the biggest personal computer sellers in the world before their leaders left…

        • Daniel

          K don’t hold your breath though. You might be disappointed.

        • Guest

          Ballmer had passion but NO vision, his whole tenure was to milk out as much as possible out of Windows. It left the company in bad shape :(

  • WebUser

    What is going on here? wpcentral just run a Elop-bashing story, and this. Do you guys get some instruction from someone?

    I haven’t been wrong too many times in my memory. Only two times I think I was wrong: I was surprised that SteveB retires 5 years too soon, and Nokia sold business while on the rise. And this is another one? I don’t think so.

    I still firmly believe Elop is the only one who is qualified for the job. No one comes close.

    • Guest

      No it’s the fanboys that is going after Elop because he now saying it is time to sell off xbox!

      • UMovies

        who said this not elop, that why is bashing as he doesn’t work for them and I dont think hed ever do some thing like that , if anything he would excel it, make it better with his negotiation skills, and xbox future as a home entertainment system, even if i didnt play games xbox one would be in my future, with skype and ie, and tv, and movie functions all by voice and gestures come on if apple made that it would be Guinness, since it ms its alright.

  • Elyl

    I’m going to have to ask for a source on the “Nutella” nickname.

  • Bas

    I’m a bit of a fan of Satya Nadella really. I see the cloud and azure as the backbone that offers different windows (pun intended) on MS Windows and Office, and other services, with tablets, mobiles, consoles, pc’s or corporate solutions. To be a specialist at that is a great background. I used to really like Elop, but not a fan of his most recent move to kill off Xbox and Bing. It shows a misunderstanding of the business. Bing is becoming the AI running in the cloud connecting all different devices to create a 360 customer experience.

    • nickcraze

      Dude this was a Rumor and appears he would consider it if they were not essential to the company. With the current competitive market it would be insane for him do follow on getting rid of those division.
      But as I said this was a rumor and rumor does not equal truth.