New York: A cricket buff and poetry loving electrical engineer from Hyderabad Satya Nadella is the next occupant of the Microsoft corner office in Redmond from where Bill Gates built his software empire.
Nadella joined Microsoft, the world's largest software company, over two decades ago. He is only the third CEO after Gates and Steve Ballmer in the 38-year old history of USD 78 billion company.
His friends and family describe him as humble, nice, and a leader with a vision.
Hailing from Hyderabad, a land which produced cricketing heroes like ML Jaisimha, Mohd Azharuddin and VVS Laxman, Nadella's passion for the gentleman's game is not surprising.
He says cricket taught him teamwork and leadership that helped him rise through the twists and turns of the corporate world.
"I think playing cricket taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career," Nadella said after his appointment as Microsoft CEO was announced.
Nadella played cricket as part of the Hyderabad Public School team.
Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and billionaire investor and Chairman of Fairfax Holdings Prem Watsa studied in the same school.
Nadella later went to the Mangalore University for Bachelor's in electrical engineering. He has two Master's degrees in computer science and business administration from the University of Wisconsin and University of Chicago.
Nadella, who joined Microsoft in 1992, previously served as the Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise Group.
Before joining Microsoft, Nadella was a member of the technology staff at Sun Microsystems.
Commenting on Nadella's elevation to the top job, India's largest software services exporter Tata Consultancy Services CEO N Chandrasekaran told PTI: "The world is at the cusp of a massive digital transformation."
He further said: "It is a wonderful time for Satya to take over at the helm of a leading technology company like Microsoft. It is a proud moment and I wish Satya all success."
In the past, TCS has worked with Microsoft as part of a joint venture in China for establishing a currency trading system.
Son of BN Yugandhar, a 1962 batch IAS officer, Nadella is married to his high school sweetheart, Anupama V Nadella.
He finds reading poetries of Indian and American poets relaxing.
Nadella says: I'm a learner. I think the thing that I realised is... what excites me is that I'm learning something... I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things."
And one gets to know his zest for learning when he says: "I used to fly to Chicago Friday nights, attend classes Saturdays and come back to Redmond to work during the week."
It took him two-and-a-half years, but he finished his Master's degree.
"Just crazy ambitions in the 15 minutes I have in the morning. You know, I'm trying to listen to a neuroscience class or something. I kind of ask myself, why are you doing it? But I love it," he says.
Soon after Nadella's appointment was made official, micro blogging site Twitter and social networking platform Facebook were abuzz with comments.
Nadella's last tweet dates back to 2010, but his profile on Twitter has been updated.
Wishes also poured in from friends in Hyderabad for the relatively unknown Nadella.
One of his classmates from Hyderabad Public School (HPS), Faiz Khan, who is also the Secretary of the HPS Society, said that a special assembly of students would be convened tomorrow to share the joy.
Another classmate M Chandrasekhar said that he felt very proud of Nadella.
BVR Mohan Reddy, who is the Chairman and Managing Director of Infotech Enterprises, said it proves the point that people with merit and put in hard work are successful.