CEO Satya Nadella makes it clear: Microsoft’s home is the Pacific Northwest
SEATTLE – Unlike that other big tech company in the Seattle area, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made it clear: Microsoft is not looking for a second headquarters outside the Pacific Northwest.
Nadella was the headliner Wednesday at the GeekWire Summit, a technology conference in Seattle.
“I am at least in no hurry to talk about HQ2s (what Amazon is calling its proposed second headquarters),” Nadella said. “I’m happy where we are in Redmond.”
Nadella told the crowd of thousands he has tremendous respect for Amazon and its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
"Amazon is a very impressive company," the 50-year-old Nadella said. "What Jeff and his team have done is something I've long admired."
His real focus is on leading Microsoft, a company with roughly 120,000 employees around the globe.
"I think where technology is going is to quickly empower more people, to accomplish more, and that's I think a responsibility we have," he said.
Where does Nadella think technology innovation is headed?
"In the next five years and 10 years, I think it's going to be very important for companies like Microsoft to innovate in areas where there's a real need for innovation," he said. "In other words, it can't all be about consumption - it has to be about creation."
He gave an example of a new free app launched by Microsoft, called Seeing AI, designed for people who are visually impaired. The app takes images and narrates for the user, even recognizing friends and their facial expressions.
Nadella smiled as he explains the technology.
"It gives them the ability to interpret the world around them," he said. "They
they can go into a restaurant and read the menu ... see the ingredients."
Nadella became the CEO of Microsoft in 2014. He's only the third CEO in the company's 42 year history, following Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
"I grew up in the company that Bill and Steve built," he said. "Everything that I've learned, everything about me, has been shaped by the company that I've worked for, which is Microsoft for 25 years."
Nadella just released a new book, titled "Hit Refresh," highlighting his personal and professional journey to rediscover Microsoft's soul.
In the book, Nadella defines his mission and that of the company he leads as empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
"There is more and more digital technology in our lives and our society," Nadella said. "The real question is, how are we going to use it?"