Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
Gotcha. We, are so excited, to have you today as you can see. You've. Said that Microsoft's, mission is not to be cool it's to make others cool but, Bob Dylan is playing across campus today and you sold out faster than him so. We. Certainly think Microsoft is cool. Really. Though we are so grateful to you for making the time to be with us and we have a lot to cover but, I thought we could start with your childhood in, India you've, said that your father never met a test he didn't chase while. Your mother was the opposite of a tiger mum I love. That contrast, and I'm, curious how their different life philosophies, shaped, you first. Of all thank you so much for. Having me here it's great to be at the GSB and. You. Know Bob Dylan was my idol so. Changing. The. You. Know it's it's interesting. In, fact I just, my. Father passed away just last month and I've been reflecting quite. A bit on. What. My both. My parents have, meant to me. My. Father was a Marxist. Economists, and a civil servant. And. He. Had a you know a definitive, point of view on what. Life. Was all about and. And the struggle, of life and, he's. Right I mean he you. Know the guy always used to look at my marks I mean my scorecards. And and used, to be amazed that somebody could be that bad, and huh. And. But. Luckily enough I think in some sense he, gave me in spite of all of that a lot, of confidence, because to him he felt like look it's a marathon, you'll. Catch up this is not that hard and. My mother was exactly, the opposite, of course all the only questions she would ever ask me is are you happy and I would say what the heck does that mean like, you know when you're reading my scorecard I don't know whether I should be happy or not but. Again. The two of them I think when I look back, growing, up in Hyderabad, in India in the late 70s, early 80s. Interesting. Enough there are three or four of us who, now suddenly have become, CEOs, from the same high school in this you know at that time war was off, the grid place, I. Think. It was that ability. To think, that. Ability to pursue your own passions. And. Have. You. Know enough, confidence. As. Well, as some humility, as. Sort, of when I look back have been you, know perhaps the, biggest drivers, of what sort of turned out to be a reasonable, you. Know set of things, it's. It's really clear how much your parents influenced, you and another, foundational, influence for you with sports now. My, fellow international, classmates and I we're mystified daily, by American, sports references, so we're. Very happy to talk about cricket yeah you, love. Cricket, and you. Dreamt of playing professionally, what. Lessons did you take from the pitch well. I mean um, you know all of us your South Asian are obsessed, with that sport, and. You. Know it's sort of, in. Fact that's right I mean that was what I was pretty, much all bound.
Up In all through my high, school into. College. And. You, know when I look back you, know I think all sport, teaches, you a lot and. Especially, at least I feel, team sport, I. Think has a huge, impact, and how you think about. Leadership. I'll, never forget this one particular. Incident. That I I think subsequently, written about there. Was this guy who was my school captain who, went on to do pretty well in, in. The context, of Indian cricket I. Was. Bowling trash, that day, and. He. Took over from me got a wicked, which is a breakthrough, but. Then he gave me the ball back and then I went on to have perhaps, the best bowling spell I've ever had in my life, and. I've always reflected, as to why did he do that and then. Uh in, fact much later on in life I went back and asked to me and. So at least the way I surmise. It as a leadership decision, he made of saying. Look I recognize that this guy's him he recognizes, the importance, of not breaking my confidence. And. I said look what that's a pretty, enlightened. Decision for a high school leader, you know captain. Of a cricket team to make and. A lot of leadership lessons is that read which is you got to make hard calls on say, performance, but, also you, gotta be able to sort of understand, that you need your team and it's not like everybody is going to have a good day all the time and, that subtle, distinction. And. That judgment right which is one of the things that I feel which, is the most understated. Part of leadership is. Judgment. And. It's so important, and that judgment comes by you exercising. This muscle, around passing judgment. And. Learning. From it and I thought that's one of the lessons I learned he, was building your confidence and okay by making you that's right so. You didn't end up playing professional, cricket. Here. I am. But. You didn't make your way to the US and soon after you started your own family, and in. Reading your book something that really moved me was how much you talked about your family and the role they've played bringing. Empathy into your life could. You share with us how being a parent has shaped you, yeah. I mean it's it's a very big part. In a part of what. Is perhaps shaped. My. Worldview, and. For both my wife and me both my wife and I grew up together if we went to the same schools. And, we, were the only children of our parents, so the when, we, both later in our late 20s when, our first son was about to be born we were very excited the household was all about you know my. Wife is an architect, and so she was practicing, at that time and, so my only, concern was or when will and will go back to school I would I'll go back to, work. And, how are we going to think about the baby's daycare. And what-have-you and lo, and behold one. Night. You, know there was some, complications, and our, son Zane was born because. Of some. Complications, he he. Now has, cerebral. Palsy he's. Got. As guests quadriplegia. And he's, locked in and. I would say for the first maybe. As many, as five years, I struggled. With it, primarily. Because, I felt that all these plans, that, I had, for what our life was going to be like. Had. Taken. A real turn and and. Then I watched on who go up and down 520, in Seattle, taking him to every therapy, possible, speech, occupational. And. Then I was just watching it and still moaning uh my. Own sort. Of whatever, issues. But then it dawned on me ah that. Nothing, actually happened, to me. Something. Had happened to my son and that I needed to as a father step, up and do my, duty, in. Other words it was the harsh but, real lesson, around being able to see the, world through the eyes of, my son right. That's what empathy, is all about and. And, I think that's what it is I mean it's it's innate in us all as humans I, think. Empathy is, something that we are all very capable, of life. Teaches, us that, and. In small ways and in in in tough ways like I remember even the, foot the last interview. By, the last interviewer.
When I was interviewing, at Microsoft, was also a life-changing. Moment, for me so. I went through this interview it is all code on screen at that time and, you know and so this guy sort, of says hey here's a question for you you're. At the crossroads, a baby. Falls and, it's. Crying what will you do and I say wow this is some search algorithm, I didn't learn, it. Must be some variant, of some Traveling Salesman problem or, something and I sort of really thought about it for a few minutes in that I said I'll go. To the phone booth and call 911. Pretty, smart phone and. So. He gets up he. Escorts, me out and he says you. Know what you. Need to, develop some empathy because when a baby Falls you. Pick them up and hug them first before you call ah and. I thought that's it I'm definitely, not gonna get this job. And. And. And lo and behold I did get the job but nevertheless I mean I I really, think that that's so core, and some people say well like what what does that have to do with sort of business or what does it have to do with work. And I believe it has everything to do with work you know I believe if you sort of say innovation is all about meeting unmet unarticulated. Needs or. Customers, where. Is that source, of, your ability, to get, in touch with that unmet. And articulated. Need going to come from it's going to come from your ability to in some sense be able to listen between the lines to. Be able to extrapolate. And. That's to me deep sense of empathy right so people talk about design thinking I think design thinking is empathy, and. So therefore I do believe, that you, know life teaches, you empathy, and you, know empathy, is the source to success, in any innovative. Agenda. You have it's. Inspiring to hear you say that you think empathy is innate when we're. Living in a world where sometimes it feels like empathy, is on the decline so I think your. Point around empathy is is really well taste it's a great question because in fact you know it is such a big word, and. It is hard. In. Fact even recently, at Microsoft, we realized, that. It's. Important, for us to even understand, what are the necessary conditions. To even develop empathy so, one of the words we have developed you know we're put into our sort, of parlance, is respect. For, example. If you don't start, with from a place or having some respect, for the other person's, views where they come from their complete history. It's. Very hard to develop empathy so, therefore, I think you're absolutely right, to say you, know before, you think about so these higher level things you, have to sort of even question, what are the you know basics, that we need to get right and. That's become so core to your leadership at Microsoft, so if we turn now to Microsoft, before. You were CEO you, took this job leading. Microsoft's, first real cloud business. And Steve, Ballmer apparently, told you this might be your last job at Microsoft because, if you fail, there's no parachute, that, feels like a lot of pressure, why. Did you make that jump you. Know you. Know Steve who, wear to school here. Had, many. He. Just went for one year from what I understand, oh this.
Is The funniest thing I should tell said this that means I guess the other guy who went to school here was Mukesh Ambani so I believe one day, Steve. Ballmer is introducing. Mukesh in Bombay. And. He. Joked that both of us dropped out of GSB except that Mukesh had never told anybody that he had dropped out of GSB, so there was a real, scandal. And. So. Steve. You. Know wanted. Us, to. Really take this new business area which was our online business in, fact Susan. Who's here and I worked, on it for, a long time as well and he felt that look this, is a place where we needed to make progress and Steve. Had this very, clear. Sense so what it means to succeed and his point was you're gonna go learn a lot, and. Of. Course I'll fire, you if you don't do a good job of it and, it, was sort of a way for him to perhaps. Communicate both. Why, he is the CEO cared, about. This business and, at the same time his expectations. But. I must say that particular. Tour, of duty has. Been the most influential. In, how. I've. Sort of thought about whether, it's distributed, computing, at its core whether, it's the economic, models, that. Are going to be emergent, and. That has been very very helpful doing, different, things inside, the company. Has. Helped, me grow, to, run the company eventually so, you know I actually appreciate. Steve, both giving. Me that opportunity and. More importantly, giving me the message, that. Look at the end of the day it's performance, that matters did, you know at the time that that decision. Was putting you on a path to one day becoming the scene no way yeah you, know most people ask me this which, is like hey did you have a sense. That you'll become CEO, no. You. Know I was first of all we none of us grew up even, to, us especially. Having grown up at Microsoft, I don't think I even thought of a Microsoft, where Bill and Steve were not actively, engaged. I mean it is just not even in the realm. Of possibility. The. Thing though I would say especially, you. Know Business School graduates that are an ambitious lot and you're all sort of saying where am I gonna be my CEO it's a CEO my only advice there, would be oh, you, know it's. Like don't wait for your next job to do your best work that I, think is the crux of it which is if you think about every job you get as. The most important, job and as the, thing that is perhaps your last job but. You gave it all and, of course you, know from there a lot of things will happen and that's at least how I it was not like the job that I had before becoming. CEO I somehow thought was. Just to stop, on the way to something else I actually thought that that was a fantastic, job until, you, know I got the next job and that, next job was, ultimately. To, become the CEO of Microsoft and, when, you took that job you faced some high expectations. Microsoft, is struggling, you're, following as you mentioned Bill Gates Steve Ballmer and many. People thought that this CEO should come from outside so. What did you draw on in that, moment. Yeah. I mean look I'm a consummate. Insider, I've grown up at Microsoft, now 28, years and. I. Also. Recognized, your point. That. I was taking, over from, Steve, and Bill and, Steve even though was not a founder, for he, had found a status, in the company bill, and Steve built. The company Bill and Paul founded, the company and, the. One thing that perhaps I was more grounded, having worked with them is, as, a non founder, CEO, I, needed. To make explicit. Some. Of the things that I think founder, CEOs can take for granted because founder, CEOs can carry, just. Because, of who they are and, what they mean to the organization. A lot and telegraph. That very broadly and have followership, whereas I describe, myself as a mere mortal CEO, I felt, I needed. That. Sense, of purpose to be deeply. Rekindled. As something that I you. Know reinforced. And, culture. Both sort of these two pillars of sense of purpose and culture needed to become much more explicit. For, example when I joined, Microsoft, in, 92. We used to talk about our mission as putting a PC in every home and every desk, it, was pretty inspiring, right I mean you could even do an excel spreadsheet P, times Q it was easy to compute.
And. And, except. By the late, 90s, we had more or less achieved, that at least in the developed world and since, then we had the struggle, of what's next. And I felt like I needed to sort of go back in fact the very origin, of the company, right I mean Microsoft, got started, when. We built a Paul, and Bill built, the. Basic, interpreter, for the Altair. And. I believe that everything. That needs to be known about Microsoft. In 2019. Can be traced back to our origin, which. Is rebuild, technology. So that others can build more technology. Right I felt like we were doing things out of envy and, others we needed to get back to. What we our, core identity is, right especially in 2019, where every company is a software company around, the world we. Can just, basically be a software platform and, tools provider, and have a good business and so, I felt, let's be proud of who we are of course we got to express it differently. And. And, then you know would really reinforce. That that's why we talked about our mission around empowering, people in organizations. The. Other piece though is we. Had to work on our culture, you know I distinctly, remember I, guess, it was 98 when, we first became. The. Largest market cap company in the world and. Many, of us you know we were lucky enough to participate on, that wave of, growth. But, I remember that day when we walked around you could see in the cat you know on campus, people thought wow, be God's gifts. To mankind. Right. We're so smart we're so good look at us and and, except it was not the case I mean the case was, you. Know it's a temporal, thing and it only matters, what, matters is your ability to learn grow. Be, grounded, in the realities, and you know and our customers, and what have you and so that's why I wanted. A, culture. That stood, for, that learning organization. And in fact my wife would introduce me to a book by a, Stanford, professor, Carol Dweck. Which. I read mindset, many years before I became CEO you. Know it was a huge influence in our household, as. It relates. To our own children's, education, but quite frankly it was a great education for, me because when I read that book I realized that that the, notion, of growth. Mindset, applies to individuals, like me it applies to companies like, Microsoft, so we took that meme of growth, mindset, and said look let's not be know-it-alls, let's be learn it all and has, been a very helpful. Part. Of I would say our journey around, this what, is a cultural. Meme that we can even make first class that we can have a real dialogue on absolutely. And you. Talked a lot about this cultural shift in. Looking, back at that over the last five years what was the most difficult part, to change because you've you instilled growth mindset, you did all of these things but what what would that hardest. For roadblocks it's. Always it's, a challenge it's one thing to same growth mindset because sometimes people will come to me and say that Microsoft, Satya. We found the ten people who don't have a growth mindset.
The. Point about that it's not about going looking for ten people it's. About me, being comfortable. With confronting. My, own fixed, mindset, each day and that's the hard part of it when you say you're a learning, organization, and you say we out we've learnt that here are the ten people who have not learned then. That's a problem and. And, I think that that's that the, reality, of it right how do you bring about long-term change I mean I'll say one other thing one of the reasons, why I feel. At. Least we have some momentum I'm, very very careful not, to sort of paint this some destination. We will reach or have reached for sure it's. Going to be something that every, day we're gonna have to confront our fix mind said we're always going to be imperfect, there. Is going to be a gap between what, is our espoused, sort, of culture. And. What is the lived experience, the, question is are we working, to bridge that gap ah and. It's very uncomfortable especially. In business where everything, is graded, by you, know how close to perfection are you to say let's be imperfect, and celebrate, imperfection, it's just a hard thing and that's why. Leadership. At the top setting the tone blocking. The walk I think. Is the hard part, but. You know anyway that's the the, real I would say challenge, of being, able to implement change at scale absolutely. And you know you, want to set this culture of a growth mindset where people can take risks and make mistakes and learn from them and you want to walk. The walk. The walk when. Have you had to lead by example on, this front well, I mean, every. Day I would say but I you know in some sense the, the. Decision. Ones makes. In. Like. For, me, the. Ability, to sort of take even take diversity, and inclusion. The. The. Saying, the word saying. We're gonna make progress. Is. One, thing and then to, recognize, that, progress, has, to be something, that really has. To come from one's own first. Change, in behavior, right and. Take. The, everyday, experience, of the senior leadership team, meeting, itself, it's. An interesting thing every time I question myself on. Everything. That we talk about as, what. We espouse, that is more broadly applicable, across, the company how, much of it is represented. In the behaviors, starting, with me of our own senior. Leadership team we. Have some very very amazing. Woman who are part of our leadership team are. They, participating. Like. Anybody, else and, in fact I'm. Allowing. For them to be able to really, make sure that we are listening to them they are able to feel like they're driving, the company and and. Starting, with that type, of sensibility. Which by the way is not constant, but at least I'll be pushing is sort of the way I think I remind. Myself of how important, to your point about it, sort of putting it. Everyday practice. We. Have three things that are the cultural. I. Would say pillars for us right one is diversity, and inclusion the, other one is customer, obsession, and then the other one is to, bring the company, together as one company as opposed to you know you, know fragmented, set up P and Al's all three.
Of These are just, super, hard easy. To say but. Require everyday, practice, starting with me and. I think diversity and inclusion is an interesting one because it's a topic that can invoke. A lot of defensiveness, so to apply a growth mindset to that area is particularly, powerful ya, know, for example the. Thing that we have recognized, is. You. Have to put many of you do a lot of things here for example we even change the compensation, of our senior leaders starting, or even mine to. Ensure that we take this as a huge priority, you. Could say well you know is the, compensation, change. The real thing of you know I'm not saying it's the only thing, that needs to change but it's an important thing I myself, had probably perhaps not recognize, that, measuring. Things having. A real metric, around it and. Then compensating. Is actually, is a good sort of start on a lot of fronts and so but. The thing that we have come to realize is every intern. Class she joins Microsoft. Every year is more diverse than the previous one, but. Then they look around and say well where's, that diversity. You. Know, in the company, and so that means the real, currency, of a culture, is. Inclusiveness. And. That I think is. The. Core job. Of what. Leaders, do and what is the everyday experience of. You. Know what happens at Microsoft, interesting. Enough I have calls that come to recognize that. That. First level, manager. Has. Probably, the most influence. On, what, happens and so I I distinctly. Remember as, a lead, at Microsoft, with five people working for me who. All were thinking why is this guy leading us right, I mean it's always the case because the first level job is the hardest job because there. Are five people who are also grad you know just recent graduates, who are sort of looking at you and saying I can. Do what you do and. Then you have a boss who's asking, you to do many things and so it's sort of real pressure, cooker, in the sense you sort of really have to you. Know do a lot but that's when, your, attitude, your nurturing, of that five people who are working for you around. Inclusiveness. Will matter a lot so one of the things that we're doubling down is are we truly, supporting. Managers. You. Know at all levels, to be able to sort of in fact support. Their. Team so that they can bring the best out of them and then have, them feel included as. Part of the company, so. We've talked a lot about culture. Let's shift and talk a bit about strategy. And particularly, the cloud because. Today we sort of take the cloud for granted but when you took over it was still far from a sure thing and you made this bold, bet cementing. Microsoft's, strategy in the cloud how. Did you rally others around that vision when many, were convinced, it wouldn't work I mean. You. Know our. Challenge, with. The. Cloud was we had a very very successful, business. In what was the client-server, era and. Sort. Of you look at any P&L, that says you know here is a new business by, the way it's God gross margins, that are sort of 1/4 of those gross margins, or the current business or and it'll be good, it's. Hard, to. Sort of look. At those kind of transitions. Because all rationality. Says, that, you, know you should avoid it as much as possible and. Except, in in, tech in particular, and many other businesses, these transitions, are secular they're inevitable, and so. The question is you. Know how do you make that transition and that's. Where I must say Steve when, he was a Sea was the one who gave me permission. And. The, decision he made was look we want to go after this, and. One of the things that I've realized as leaders and many of you in your careers, are going to make these kinds of decisions you know, we, are all about solving these over-constrained, problem, right I mean classic, over-constrained, problem, is or you have a huge profit margin and, now you got to go build, a new business that sort, of sort, of replaces.
This Business, and by, the way you should have the same gross profit, margin and, guess, what it's. Not possible. So someone. Somewhere. Has, to remove some constraint, who. Does it leaders do it so he removed the constraint, called gross margin, he said go win this market, and. That sward was then made it possible for, us to do all those things that have now gotten. Us to the other side but. To me I've learned a lot from that so in fact if anything I feel like as a leader sometimes, you know you get to speak from both sides of the mouth right Richie so I need growth and I need profit, in, many cases, your job as leaders is to in fact unconstraint. Take on the risk now in fact in the first, multiple. Years amy. Hood who's my CFO and myself we said look let, us take on the risk, and. Then actually. Met metric, a lot of our leaders more on customer, satisfaction. Usage. Versus. Profit. Revenue even. And. I think that that's sort of the type of, decision-making, one needs in order to make these harsh transitions, and when you look back and you you look at all that you've done on culture, and strategy and making this bold bet are you able to tell which one move to the needle more for Microsoft's, renewal I. Fundamentally. Believe that. You. Know strategies, or. Markets. Will always, be coming and going there, will be lots of changes, I'm. A fundamental. Believer, in that, sense of purpose and, culture, as the. Two, two. Pillars that are necessary. In, order to get a lot of other things right of course, if you don't get your strategy, right or your ability, to sort of ride a particular. Wave, of innovation. And. Especially. In tech you it's pretty harsh alright I mean it's. Very hard to recover but. That said though the question is what, is it that will give you the best probability. Of even catching, those and. To mean that sense of purpose which, i think is a reflection of, what you're innately, good, at as an organization. Right it's comparative, advantage. Except. It's codified, in. That identity, and, culture. Is what allows, you to express that identity, with new opportunity. I. Think. Many of us in this room want to use our careers to create impact at scale and, you. Have committed almost 30 years to Microsoft, which seems unfathomable to many of us, how. Do you think about flies. By. How. Do you think about entrepreneurship. And this idea for those, among us who maybe, want to work in large organizations. To create change in the world what. Advice would you have yeah I mean I look I mean I think. That you. Know all organizations. Small or large all have amazing. Opportunities, but I'll make the case for. A. Large organization, and especially an organization, like Microsoft, I mean think about it if you want to have impact at scale, in. Fact one. Of the reasons you're. There two things when I'm trying to recruit at a college I'm always telling, people like hey look if you want to be cool go join somebody else but if you want to make others cool join Microsoft. And I say that because I believe, that. You, know which, other organization. Will be able to have in, a hundred and ninety plus countries the impact on small business productivity, public, sector efficiency. Multinationals. In any part of the world and their competitiveness. Globally health. Outcomes, education, outcomes this is scale, at, at.
You Know enormous. Rate and, so therefore if. You want join. A company, like this but then you have to have the following I, would. Say Sensibility. Guess. What you got to work with others ah in, other words that's. I think a key important, skill like what does it mean I mean you do a lot of that many of you have got a lot of experience, even before coming to business school but. Never fundamentally. To do anything useful and, big and at scale it's all about teams, teams. Inside, or teams outside, that's. What it takes and, the, second thing that, you also need is to, realize, that you know a lot of people talk about the matrix, and the complexity. Of large organizations that's. Again the case I mean even for small companies you just have a different type of matrix, you'll have a VC, you'll have a board you'll have customers, so, it's you're never going to escape, working. With people ha, you're, never going to escape bringing. Multiple, constituents. Together, and. I think that you should pick whether, whatever size of organization, recognize, that scale only comes because you've been able to bring many constituents. Together. You. Say that we can never escape working, with people which brings me to my next section on AI. You. Are, a big. Proponent. Of AI and, you. Believe. That AI will be good for humankind and you argue that in an AI future, human. Traits like empathy and creativity will. Be more important than ever and yet. In some ways technology. Has made us less connected so. How, do you see AI augmenting. Humanity, rather. Than detracting, from it look. First of all I'm excited I'm going to spend some time with. Your own work. Around this human centered AI and, the, work you're doing there I think it's so important. Here's. How I come at it. First. Before we get it to get into some of the unintended, consequences. Of AI, one. Of the areas that I am. Deeply. Involved in is accessibility. Right I mean think about what AI is done, to. People who need the most help right. Say. If you have ALS now with eye gaze. You. Can type and communicate, if, you have. Visual. You know impairment. Of any sorts, you can interpret the world by using the latest in computer vision if. You have dyslexia be, using some mission reading and comprehension, techniques, you can start you know teaching a middle, kid how. To read because. Reading then leads to their participation, in our economy, so I would first say some. Of AI and, CAI, capabilities. Are helping more of us participate. Fully in our societies, and in our economies, that, doesn't mean we shouldn't be clear-eyed about, the, consequences. Of AI right the first one is what. Are the ethics, of AI we. As in. Fact creators, of these platforms and tools have to even before we even get to sort of the big topic of ethics, improve. The state, of the art of the software, engineering, around, AI so, that things like bias and, so on are. Aren't. Being dealt with you know there's this fantastic line. I love, all of real case which is he talks about how the, future enters. In you, and, transforms. Itself, in you before it becomes real so. We are creating, AI it's humans, who are creating the eyes so we get to shape. You. Know what the, craft of creation, of AI looks, like, how. We design, systems, where the human is in loop we get to decide that as a society even, what. We are comfortable, with and not comfortable with so I don't want to abdicate, all of, that, you. Know and feel like this is just gonna happen outside of our control, so. That's at least how, I think about it and also on the employment side I, I, do believe, that. For. Example I mean you know this, is. It zero-sum, I don't think that, is the case I think that there will be more jobs the question, is how do we really use in, fact all, of this sort. Of levers we have economic. And social to skill, people, for, the jobs that are going to be there and many of those skills might be different types of skills than the ones that are valued today for. Example there's no reason why our society can't. Have wage support, for teachers. In. A, different way in a world where there's a lot of abundance, of AI, doing, a lot of other things for us or.
Artists, Or what have you so therefore I think we will come up with mechanisms. And. You. Know I hope that we, have you. And in fact more than hope I feel that we shouldn't abdicate. Our responsibility. To. Control our own future. That I think we all want to live in and. Given. Microsoft's, vision, to democratize, AI you. Know there are concerns about what might happen if those tools get into the wrong hands and you've, just mentioned not to abdicate, that sort, of responsibility, so how do you think about who, to partner with in light of those concerns, right I mean there's multiple things so one is what is it that we ourselves will. Do. To in some sense have. Some, core. Principles, that define what. We do and then who we walk with you. Know take facial recognition that's, quickly becoming the. Topic, which i think is going to even have regulatory frameworks, around it in the state of Washington, we participated. Even in creation, of that regulation. So. I think that first before we what you know even, the regulation, is in place we. Have guidelines on what we think is the right use because the maturity, of the models, really, make it possible you know only sensible. To use it in certain use use cases and not in others and being, clear about it and. Then ensuring, that that's, what we do and. Then working knowing, that they will be like there's food safety there should be AI safety, I mean there will be regulation. And. We. Should be okay with it in fact if anything our practices, in our data of what's good, what's not what's, the state of Technology should inform, that regulation, so. You bring up the topic of regulation, and today it, seems that relationships. Between regulators, and many large tech companies, are fraught. In, its early days Microsoft, may have fought its own battles but today Microsoft is leading, with openness and so what's your advice for the. Aspiring tech leaders here on balancing. That pressure to grow as a company with your responsibility. To society that's. An interesting question oh. Yes. Here's. What I've at least learned. In fact Brad Smith, who's there another colleague of mine who recently wrote a book called tools. And weapons he, reflects because he was very much part he worked with Bill he worked with Steve and now he works with me, very. Much part of our own struggle. I would, say the one thing that we at least I took away from. That. Time is, when there is. I'd. Say a lot of criticism, of whatever it is that you are doing I. Think, that it's it's it's appropriate, for us to look in the mirror and, perhaps, learn. About. What, it is that we are being criticized, about and. Perhaps there are changes that we need to actually bring about so, I would say scrutiny, of large organizations is. Absolutely. Something that is going. To only happen, and I think large organizations. Should welcome it, and. And, we all can learn. From. It and, the. Call, though, especially in technology business. We. Collectively. As an industry have to just mature. And mature, at a very fast rate because the impact of digital technology, in our lives and in our society is, so, deep. Now. That, for us to assume that we're just gonna have unfettered, access, to. All. Parts. Without. Thinking. About the unintended, consequences. Of this technology, are long gone and so. Therefore for us is an industry, for, us as a company to. Both, recognize the, opportunity. Of these technologies. And the responsibilities. Whether it's in security, whether it's in privacy, whether it's in AI and ethics I think, is going to be central, and. It's, me and these are not going to be terms of competition, even I think this is where the, industry at, scale. Has, to get a lot better, and. I think that that moment, is is upon, us and I do see positive change. But. It is definitely a time for self-reflection. And. Change. So. I want to circle, back to your, own leadership style, and, values and what, strikes me is that you seem to combine, this sense of self and ability. To stay true to your leadership style you even have a story of Steve Ballmer, telling, you it's too late to be different, with. On the, other hand this, real, belief in a growth mindset and I think for many of us at the GSB there's this question how do you stay true to your, own style while still knowing when. And how to grow in the right direction and, so how, do you think about those two things I. Mean.
Yeah. I mean I. Think. The. Ability. To. Understand. Yourself. Is. Is, actually. It's. A lifetime's journey, right it's. A journey of your lifetime to really unpack who. You are and what you're good at, what makes you take what are your passions. Is, something, that what, makes you happy the question that my mother asked, me all the time and in fact the more the, older I get the, clearer, I am, in. In, understanding. Even what she was asking. And. Then. To. Be able to understand, others, that's. Also another journey, of a lifetime right which is you sort of feel like you understand, what others is saying. You. Understand, where they're coming from, I. Think. That's really, what is going to perhaps help, you with. Both be true, to yourself, your identity. What. Makes you tick what makes you happy while. Knowing. That ultimately. I, think, a lot of that satisfaction. You get is because, of your, ability, to empathize the, ability, it could be your family it, could, be your workplace that's the other thing that I've come to realize it's be can be transactional. At work I'll tell you there was this gentleman and another GSB. Grad whom I worked for Doug burgum. Who's. Actually the governor of North Dakota nowadays, but. There was this, time. You. Know in my mid-30s he said something to me which just had a profound, impact he said look you're. Gonna work. You, know at Microsoft, more, time then. You were gonna even spend with your kids and I said oh wow that's pretty you, know that sounds pretty harsh. And. And. Yet, it is true. His, main point was you better think, about work having, deeper, meaning, than being transactional. And. And. As I've thought about that the, only way it's not going to be transactional, is when you relate to people you work with, and. You. Know that's what you'll remember the projects you worked on the technologies, will all be passe, in time but the people what, you did how you behave, what, was your. You know I take, great pride in these people whom I mentor, or, go on to do great things that's. The, relationship, that I think you seek out, while. Being true, to yourself and what makes you happy and you, mentioned humility, earlier and how important, it is to you and you, have this quote, that. Says when everyone is celebrating you is when you should be most scared, and. I think it's safe to say that people are celebrating, Microsoft's. Renewal, so how do you keep. Yourself and your team's grounded, among the six great that's great that's a great question, you know there's this, book. I recently read, by David. Brooks called. A second mountain. It, was an interesting book because he talks about it mostly in the context, of us. You. Know there's that first Mountain, which is what, perhaps many of you as graduates of GSB, are going to be on and you're going to seek. Excellence. And, success. In the professional, career. And. Then. You're. Eventually going, to get to that second mountain and then you're going to sort of in. His words, relate. To the world and, community, and what have you and I feel that that's really, what's there, for Microsoft the way you. Know having gotten, to whatever, high market cap in, 98. Now. For. Us, it's. More not, our market, cap but, what is our market cap leading. To. To. Your point it's if you celebrate our success, but, real. But, fundamentally. Realize if you sort of go back to our mission and our. Business model right, it's not even a sense of mission and purpose that somehow abstracted. Away from, what's core, driving, our business, model. We need, to see success, all around us that's. It and so if we celebrate. That, small, business. In. Kenya. Or that, large multinational. In Sweden, or. That public, sector company in Indonesia, and Vietnam that's. What's, going to help us. Be. Grounded. And be, successful and, so, that, invoking, of, that everyday sense of purpose is what I think is going to help us the most, thank. You such a and I think on that note we will turn it over to some, questions, from the audience. Hi. My name is tarik, Arad peer and I'm a first year MBA student and, I'm. Asking this question in conjunction with my classmate, Jeff Krueger who unfortunately couldn't, be here but we're both interested. You've. Mentioned that I'm Microsoft, you've, made a principled, decision that you're not going to withhold technologies. From institutions, that have been elected in democracies, to protect. The freedoms we enjoy this. Position, as you probably know stands, in contrast to, a number of your peer tech companies here in the valley can, you elaborate on your decision, framework as CEO, to have Microsoft pursue, US.
Department, Of Defense contracts. Like the Jedi cloud, project at DoD yeah. I mean first, of all. You. Know one, of the things that we're. Engaged. In, is. With. Deep respect for all opinions, that people may have on, things that we. Should. Be concerned about but. On this one we've, been very clear from day one on the. Statement you read out which is I feel that I. Have great belief in our, democratic institutions and. Our democratic, process, and one of my big, fears, is that, somehow. CEOs. Or. Corporations. Try. And substitute for, what, I think in the long run is, the most important, thing for us which is our democracy, to work as design. And. In this case if. We don't like what our government, does we, have this one great opportunity. Which is we get to change we get to vote we. Get to even take principled, stance, against. Our government, if we do think, that that is something that we. Want to fight for, in fact Microsoft, whether, it's in the previous. Administration. Or this administration we've. Had cases, you. Know it was the warrant case, or. On privacy is something that we were able to go fight and then ultimately. Through. The cloud act bring, about change which was a bipartisan. Legislation. Which I feel is a good step, in the direction of, having. Privacy, enshrined, in a legislative, sort of press set of processes, so, that's how I look at it I don't, see how. Withholding. Technology, from, as. I said the institutions. That we have elected, there. Are subject, to civilian, control ultimately. To. Protect the freedoms we enjoy is, going to help that. Doesn't mean we shouldn't have ethical, principles, we shouldn't ED advocate, for ethical principles, and in fact these institutions. That we are talking about have, perhaps a more of a history, around these ethical principles, as well and so for us to rely on that and reinforce, that I think it would be important. I. Shan't. I'm from Hyderabad. The second EMU straight city. So. My question is today if you were a 22 year old engineering, graduate from India will you come would you stay back in India and work in the tech and startup because the stem or would, you come to the US and why and. If you come to the US how can we all think of contributing, back to our home country yeah. You know yeah, it's. Interesting one I mean III. Really literally growing up never thought I'll ever. Go. Outside of Hyderabad I had very I would say very self satisfying, sort of goals in life I wanted to play. Cricket and work. For a bank and. And, things. Changed. Look. I I. Feel that. The. Opportunity. Whether it's up in. India, or rest of Asia or, in Africa one of them we just created to deaf development, centers, in. Africa. Both on the west and the east side of you, know because, of Africa there. Is great. Opportunity. There's great talent, I think digital, technology. In particular is. A real democratizing. Force we, were talking even backstage. About. How. Even. When the, rest of the infrastructure. Is challenged. There. Is very novel ways for, digital technology, to overcome some, of those things, because. Of the the. Most valuable, nature, of software in some sense so therefore I think, there's. Opportunity. Everywhere in, the world but. At the same time, for. You to come here learn from you.
Know Learn in a place, like the GSB and, be inspired, and go back is an opportunity, you I would take if. That sort of came or about but. At the same time, it. Doesn't mean that that's the only opportunity, I had to have an impact you know it's interesting you bring up because globalization let's, face it is going. Through a, little, bit of a challenging, phase. And. I, think. That it's deserved, in some sense because the, globalization. Was celebrated. To a point where the. You. Know inequities. That were getting. You. Know founded, I guess or inequities, that developed, in local communities, were not addressed, whatever. Happens, in this next phase of globalization. Will not only in. Fact help, that. Grand, convergence of. Opportunity. All over the world which was by the way a very good thing in that first phase of globalization, but, also address the local inequities, whether it's in India or in in. Palo Alto, I, think, that that's what I think is needed whereas, there is real innovation, that brings equitable. Growth everywhere, is. Perhaps, the, opportunity. For GSB, grads in, 2019. Hello, hi, I'm. Casey Lewin who an MBA - I, also worked at Microsoft before, I came here I think I might be the only one not that team let's go that's great. I. Was. Just wondering in your rise, to the top what was the biggest adjustment, you made to your leadership style as. You move up in the company. You. Know it's interesting I, must, say. There's, many, many dimensions. Perhaps. The biggest adjustment. Was that ability, to. Grapple. With what is it that uniquely only, you can do, versus. What others, in the team can do getting much better at it was the most helpful. But. The. CEO job when I look back at it and many of you. Who. May you know start out and you know and become even see you as much earlier. On in your career, I, had not understood perhaps. Even growing up at Microsoft, how multi constituent. The. Job is right I mean that's perhaps, the biggest adjustment. I've had to make is. Recognizing. It's about customers, it's about partners, it's about all your employees, it's, about your investors. It's, about governments, it's, about many, many many of these constituents. And by the way it's not about like I'll you know you know it's not like office hours for each one of them it, is about all of them all the, time and. How. To, think about that multi, constituent. World I think is perhaps the, biggest adjustment. That one makes as you grow in any organization. And the, faster, you grapple, with it the. Better off you. Will be in your organization. Will be. So. Will now turn it back to our traditional. Lightning round and. Don't. Be scared. We're. Changing it up a little bit this time I'm going to ask you to complete a few sentences for me so I feel. Most energized, when, I. See. Someone. Very. Excited. About the impact of what they're doing. What. Keeps me up at night is. What. Wakes me up in the morning. Goodgoodgood. Dodge. There I am. Most grateful for. The. The. Sense of. The. The love the affection, of people. That. I've. Had. The good fortune whether. It's my family whether. It's the people I've come across at work, the, organizations. That I'm involved in. It's. It's, just such a blessing when I look back that's, the thing that sort of really I'm most thankful for for the people in my life in all, spheres of it. The. Most important, piece of advice I could leave this audience with is is. The a piece of advice that Steve, Ballmer gave me when I became CEO be. Bold and be right. Which. Is if you're not bold, you're not going to do much of anything and if you're not right it, you won't be there. Sorry. Thank you so much it's been a real.