Microsoft CEO speaks to UT Austin students about the future of technology

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at UT Austin. (KXAN Photo/Steffi Lee)
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at UT Austin. (KXAN Photo/Steffi Lee)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says the key to running a successful technology company is to constantly reinvent ideas.

Nadella spoke to students at the University of Texas at Austin inside the Hogg Memorial Auditorium Monday. He is currently promoting his new book, “Hit Refresh — The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone.” He told students Microsoft constantly works to portray an image of wanting to soak up information, rather than being a “know-it-all.”

“Startups are a massive inspiration for us,” he said. “First we have our own venture firm, which helps us have a great sensor network. We know what startups care about. We invest in them. We foster their growth. That’s fantastic. The other thing is we buy a lot of companies. One of the things that I’ve learned is that the CEOs and founders of these startups want to make sure that they not only thrive at Microsoft, but they teach and shape and reshape Microsoft’s culture.”

Nadella says several senior leaders on his team at Microsoft came from startups the company eventually acquired and they strive to share the same mentality. He told students he also believes the key to innovation starts with empathy.

“Innovation is about meeting unmet, un-articulated needs of customers,” he said.

Bob Metcalfe, professor of innovation and Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise at the Cockrell School of Engineering and McCombs School of Business, served as the moderator during event.

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