Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Talks to Students

Mason Carroll

The line into Hogg Memorial Auditorium stretched around the building Monday as students waited to hear Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speak.

Nadella came to UT to talk about his experience at Microsoft as well as his new book, “Hit Refresh.” University President Gregory Fenves introduced Nadella and said he believes Austin is a perfect representation of the growing innovation Nadella talked about.

“The most impressive part of Mr. Nadella’s legacy is not what he has achieved … but how he has achieved it,” Fenves said. “He is a leader that truly cares about the people that work with him and the people that Microsoft serves around the globe.”

Nadella immigrated to the U.S. from India in 1988. He has been at Microsoft for 25 years and became the CEO in 2014. He said the possibilities offered by the U.S. is what allowed him to achieve success.

“I am a product of two uniquely American things,” Nadella said. “One is American technology reaching me and making it possible to dream the dream, and then, the American immigration policy that made it possible to live here and live life.”

The entire auditorium was filled top to bottom with students. Advertising sophomore Ali Mancinelli said the talk was an amazing opportunity for students here at UT.

“I think it’s really cool that UT gets to host someone that has such a prominent position in the tech and business world,”
Mancinelli said.

During his talk, Nadella discussed the inspirations for his book and how he uses these philosophies as a leader at Microsoft.

“One of the big concepts I put in the book is, ‘What is innovation, and what is the source of innovation?’” Nadella said. “I think
it’s empathy.”

Mancinelli said her favorite part of the lecture was when Nadella talked utilizing empathy to lead to innovation.  

“I think emotion is sometimes left out of the business world, and it was nice to see someone of such high status still thinking about things like that,” Mancinelli said.

During the final parts of the talk, Nadella gave some advice for all types of students.

“I would argue that it’s not the capability you have, but the choices you make that will define you,” Nadella said. “You get to choose, and I think the question is, ‘How will you choose?’ So, I think, if you choose wisely, you will be fine.”