The Man Behind LinkedIn Acquisition – Satya Nadella

A short story about a $84 million dollar man that decided to buy a $26.2 billion dollar tech asset on behalf of a $407 billion market cap company



While the news of Microsoft buying LinkedIn for a mind-boggling $26.2 billion is still fresh from the oven, it’s fitting for us to learn about the person that was instrumental behind this largest Microsoft acquisition deal – their very own CEO, Mr. Satya Narayana Nadella.

Let’s start with a little bit of background check on Mr. Nadella. He’s 48 years old, born on August 19, 1967 in Hyderabad, India. He was raised in a Telugu-speaking family in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, India by Prabhavati Yugandhar (mother) and Bukkapuram Nadella Yugandhar (father). He has knowledge of both the technical and business worlds. He owns a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in India before he traveled to the U.S. to study for an Master of Science degree in Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Yes, He is American

Currently, Satya Nadella is a US citizen. He firstly received his H1B visa and then Microsoft applied for his Green Card and later he renounced Indian passport to become a US citizen. He is married and has three children – a son and to daughters and they now live in Bellevue, Washington.

His Life In Microsoft

Before joining Microsoft in 1992, Mr. Nadella worked with Sun Microsystems as a member of its technology staff. He spent his career in Microsoft for almost half of the company’s existence. I guess loyalty does get its rewards in Microsoft. Here is how he rose through the ranks in Microsoft before he became the king of Microsoft.

  • President of the Server & Tools Division
  • Executive Vice-President of Cloud and Enterprise group
  • Senior Vice-President of Business Solutions and Search & Advertising Platform Group
  • Senior Vice-President of Research and Development for the Online Services Division
  • Vice-President of the Business Division
  • Vice President of Development for the Business Solutions Group
  • General Manager of Consumer and Commerce

During his tenure as the Executive VP of Cloud and Enterprise Group, the revenue from cloud services grew from $16.6 billion when we took over in 2011 to $20.3 billion in June 2013. He was also instrumental in bringing Microsoft’s database, Windows Server and developer tools to its Azure cloud as well as helping bring a cloud version of Microsoft Office (Office 365) to life.

How Much is Satya Nadella’s Salary?

For those that are curious about people’s paychecks, Nadella is the highest-paid CEO in US, earning $84 million in base salary, bonus and shares. Oracle’s CEO Larry Ellison ($67.3 million), was the top paid CEO in 2014, but has been overthrown by Nadella to the second position in 2015. Third place sits Steven Mollenkopf of Qualcomm with $60.7 million. Below is the breakdown of Nadella’s net worth, according to Microsoft’s regulatory filing.

  • Base salary of $918,917
  • Cash bonus valued at $3.6 million
  • One-time stock grant valued at $59.2 million
  • One-time stock grant valued at $13.6 million as retention
  • He also holds 4.9 million shares after his taking over as the CEO

But in 2013, prior to becoming CEO, his base salary was only $700,000, for a total compensation, with stock bonuses, of $7.6 million.

How Microsoft Decided to Buy LinkedIn

The acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft did not happen overnight. In fact, as reported by New York Times, Keith Rabois, former LinkedIn executive, tweeted that Microsoft were keen to buy LinkedIn about 10 years for $250 million.

In a joint interview with CNBC, Mr. Nadella and Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, started their conversations on how to work together in February this year. Nadella and Weiner first met at a chief executive conference held at Microsoft’s headquarters a few years ago.

NY Times also reported that Microsoft’s courtship of LinkedIn began to heat up in April. During that month, Mr. Nadella, Mr. Weiner and co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman had dinner to discuss the details for how the deal would work.

“This deal is all about bringing together the professional cloud and professional network,” Mr. Nadella said in the CNBC interview. Nadella is referring to their popular professional cloud solutions like Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, merging with the world’s top professional social network, LinkedIn.

Does He Have Any Hobbies Besides Working for Microsoft?

Yes, he does. According to his interview by Wall Street Journal, he jogs early in the morning before he goes to work to become Mr. CEO to Microsoft. He a morning coffee person and takes tea in the afternoon. He is also writing a book entitled Hit Refresh that is scheduled to be out in fall 2017. The book shall be about his life, Microsoft, and how technology will shape the future and plans to give his earnings from the book to Microsoft Philanthropies.

Any Advice from Him?

We love to ask advice from inspiring leaders don’t we? So, it’s fitting for me to end this story with Nadella’s motivational quotes about life, work and success, put together by Evan Carmichael on his YouTube video.

So there you have it folks, a short story about a $84 million dollar Indian-American man that decided to buy a $26.2 billion dollar tech asset on behalf of Microsoft, a $407 billion market cap company. Please leave your comments below on how this greater-than-life man has inspired you.

This post was originally published on