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Pride in India at Microsoft's CEO appointment

Satya Nadella's appointment as Microsoft's CEO not only marks a huge change in leadership at the company, but has brought great pride to India.

NEW DELHI: Indian-born Satya Nadella’s appointment as the next chief executive officer of the world's largest software company Microsoft has not only marked a huge change in the leadership of the company that helped usher in the PC age -- but it has also brought great pride to India.

The 46-year-old Nadella, who was born in Hyderabad in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, is only the third CEO, after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, in the 39-year history of the company now valued at more than $300 billion.

By securing the top job at the biggest software maker in the world, Nadella has more than lived up to his school and college's expectations, both of which rejoiced at his stratospheric rise.

"I think this sends out a great message -- that we need to build a culture based upon merit, and allow the flowering of merit,” said Ramdas Madhav Pai, Chancellor of Manipal University from where Nadella graduated. “It's a great day for India, it's a great day for Satya and I wish him all the best."

Nadella joined Microsoft more than two decades ago, and has spearheaded major strategy and technical shifts across the company's portfolio during his stint, most notably through his role in the firm's cloud computing business.

He was widely expected to take the helm of the US tech giant following the departure of Steve Ballmer, emerging as a popular choice with his strong engineering background and focussed business vision.

In India, where Microsoft established a base two years before Nadella joined the company, the reaction has been overwhelming.

“We are very happy,” said Narendra Reddy from Nadella’s hometown of Hyderabad. “This is fantastic because this is an inspiration to the upcoming generation."

Another Hyderabad resident echoed this sentiment.

"He gives inspiration to many students who are studying in the Hyderabad public school system... because that's where he came from.” said Ajit Singh.

Nadella's appointment as the top boss of one of the most powerful and influential technology companies in the world is a proud moment for India, a country with a rich pedigree and strong investment in the industry.

His journey is one that many Indians aspire to emulate.

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