Satya Nadella Joins TIME 100

April 16, 2015 11:00 AM

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Satya Nadella Joins TIME 100

One of the first books Satya Nadella recommended to his staff after taking the top job at Microsoft was Nonviolent Communication, an unconventional choice for a company where aggressive communicators thrived. Bill Gates famously upbraided staff with the phrase, “That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard,” plus one expletive unprintable in a family publication. His successor Steve Ballmer was one of the few executives who could give it right back to Microsoft’s formidable founder, according to co-founder Paul Allen, who offered a frank account of the pair’s nose-to-nose shouting matches in his autobiography.

Nadella has taken a calmer approach to leading Microsoft. A trim, 47-year-old who, according to Forbes, is occasionally mistaken for a vegetarian, Nadella came to the U.S. as a young electrical engineering graduate from Hyderabad, India. He racked up master’s degrees in computer science and business...

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