Bloomberg Businessweek

Satya Nadella

CEO, Microsoft

‘Success is not actually built by moving from hit to hit to hit. It’s the batting average that counts’

The heir to Gates and Ballmer talks to Bloomberg Businessweek Editor Megan Murphy about empathy, fixed mindsets, empowering women and minorities—and how life lessons help him run the company

You follow Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer as the third chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp. How do you put your own personal stamp on it? What do you want your living legacy to be as a leader at a company that has had just two, but both of whom were larger than life?

The best advice I got from both Steve and Bill was to not try and somehow get into this mold of trying to fill their shoes. It’s impossible. I’d grown up in the company they built admiring what they’d done, but at the same time they gave me enough confidence, quite frankly, to be my own person. I look at what is it that I want to achieve. I’ve been blessed to have this platform at Microsoft. But frankly, the first job I had at Microsoft I felt was the best job. The second job I had at Microsoft was the best job.

There was this one gentleman, who happens to be the governor of North Dakota now, who, when I worked for him at Microsoft, said, “You know, we all spend far too much time at work for it not to have deeper meaning.” I was probably in my early 30s when he said it, and I probably didn’t understand it. But over time I got it more. That’s what I want my

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