16 facts you probably didn't know about Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella
Almost a year to the day Satya Nadella succeeded Steve Ballmer as Microsoft’s CEO. At the time, the 22-year veteran of the company was considered a safe choice for the top executive spot, having led its cloud and enterprise efforts with great success.
Nadella is known for being private, mild-mannered, calm and non-confrontational, and his management style seems to have paid off. During his year long tenure there have been significant improvements in areas such as employee satisfaction, brand image, innovation and investment. In fact the overall feeling is that Nadella is nothing but good for Microsoft and its future growth.
Manufacturing Global takes a look at one of the world’s most influential tech CEOs - one year into his tenure - and uncovers 16 facts you may not know about the man who is poised to re-invent Microsoft.
- Before taking the reigns as CEO, Nadella had many other roles at Microsoft. During his 23-year career with the firm, he’s held several executive-level roles, including management of Microsoft’s Server and Tools division, which generated double-digit billions in revenue, and most recently the company’s Cloud and Enterprise group.
- Nadella is credited with transforming Windows Live Search into Bing, which now provides the informational backbone to a wide range of Microsoft services.
- He is also credited with leading the team, which developed Office 365, SkyDrive, Xbox Live and other Microsoft cloud-centric applications.
- He believes that computing extends far beyond the PC – in fact, in his first email to Microsoft employees as CEO he said, “This is a software-powered world.”
- Nadella is a firm believer is self-betterment and education. “Many who know me say I am also defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning,” he wrote in the same email to employees. “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. So family, curiosity and hunger for knowledge all define me.”
- He is currently doing an online course in neuroscience.
- When Nadella took on the role of CEO, Bill Gates re-joined the company to become his personal mentor.
- Nadella has never taken on the role of CEO before – leading one of the world’s most successful companies is certainly a baptism of fire.
- Nadella is a huge cricket fan and says it's inspired the way he does business. In an interview with Hyderabad's Deccan Chronicle last summer, Nadella reflected on how playing the sport had an impact on his life. “I think playing cricket for HPS (Hyderabad Public School) taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career,” he said.
- He married his high school sweetheart. Nadella met his wife Anupuma when they were both students at Hyderabad Public School in the early '80s. They've now been married for 22 years and have three children.
- He is a Seahawks fan.
- Nadella is a huge poetry fan and compares the literary art to coding. “You’re trying to take something that can be described in many, many sentences and pages of prose, but you can convert it into a couple lines of poetry and you still get the essence, so it’s that compression. The best code is poetry,” he said.
- He is a passionate runner.
- Unlike many influential CEOs, Nadella is a very private man.
- Nadella believes fiercely in giving back. According to the Times of India, Nadella is a huge inspiration for students at his alma mater. Hyderabad Public School was the first school to be selected for the I-spark program, which utilized Microsoft materials and software to help young Indian students jump-start careers in tech. Nadella has also met with government officials about improving IT education in schools across India.
- Today, he is one of the most powerful Indian businessmen in the world. Nadella's appointment as CEO makes him the most powerful Indian-born tech executive in the world, according to Reuters. He joins PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi among Indians reaching the very top of well-known American corporations.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.