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Satya Nadella on hitting refresh and seizing the opportunity of the digital revolution

Satya Nadella discusses his personal journey from a childhood in India to CEO of Microsoft.

Satya Nadella is one of the world’s most inspirational business leaders, as much a humanist as a technologist and executive. In September 2017, he came to the Intelligence Squared stage to discuss his personal journey from a childhood in India to becoming CEO of Microsoft, the culture change that he has driven inside his legendary technology company, and the transformation that is coming to all our lives as we face the most disruptive wave of technology humankind has experienced: artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and quantum computing.

While many people worry about the negative impact of exponential digital growth – from automation taking over our jobs to the increasing power that algorithms are having over our lives – Nadella proffered his optimistic vision of the future, which he sets out in his latest book Hit Refresh. He argued that, as technology upends the status quo, the very human quality of empathy will become increasingly valuable. And he explained how people, organisations and societies must transform in their quest for new energy, new ideas, relevance and renewal.



Kamal Ahmed

Editorial director of BBC News and former BBC economics editor

BBC editorial director, former economics editor, and author of The Life and Times of a Very British Man, a book about race and identity in Britain.

Satya Nadella

Chief executive officer of Microsoft

Chief executive officer of Microsoft since 2014 – the third in the company’s 40-year history. He joined Microsoft in 1992 and held leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer businesses across the company. Originally from Hyderabad, India, Nadella now lives in Bellevue, Washington. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. Nadella describes his life as a journey of learning deep empathy for other people, which he endeavours to bring to all he does personally and professionally. In his spare time, he reads poetry and follows cricket, a sport he played in school.