Satya Nadella, UWM grad and Microsoft chief, named CEO of the year

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, a UW-Milwaukee alumnus, has been named CEO of the Year in what a Forbes columnist calls “the cloud wars.”

Nadella earned his master’s degree in computer science from UWM in 1990.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

The Cloud Wars Top 10 is a weekly ranking system created by Forbes tech columnist Bob Evans to classify the large-scale tech companies that “are doing the best job of aligning their cloud technology to the rapidly evolving needs of businesses,” according to Evans’ biography.

Evans cited Nadella’s success in turning around a troubled Microsoft in the less than four years since Nadella was named CEO. Microsoft’s market cap has more than doubled in that time, and the company has been the top-rated enterprise-cloud vendor.

“And without question, the person most responsible for that extraordinary turnaround, transformation, rejuvenation, re-imagining, overhaul, restoration, resurrection, and near-miracle reversal is the eloquent and passionate Nadella,” Evans wrote.

After graduating from UWM, where he was also a graduate teaching assistant, Nadella moved to Chicago and pursued an MBA at the University of Chicago. He joined Microsoft in 1992 as a program manager and rose through the ranks. He visited UWM in 2013, when he was given the Chancellor’s Innovation Award.

Nadella became Microsoft’s CEO on Feb. 4, 2014, succeeding Steve Ballmer.


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