All for love: When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella surrendered his Green Card for wife Anu

With his permanent residency coming in the way of his newly wed wife joining him in the US, Satya Nadella surrendered his Green Card and applied for a H1-B visa, a move which gave him instant notoriety around the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, the Indian-born CEO has revealed.

PTI September 26, 2017 13:20:20 IST
All for love: When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella surrendered his Green Card for wife Anu

Orlando: With his permanent residency coming in the way of his newly wed wife joining him in the US, Satya Nadella surrendered his Green Card and applied for a H1-B visa, a move which gave him instant notoriety around the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, the Indian-born CEO has revealed.

All for love When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella surrendered his Green Card for wife Anu

File image of Satya Nadella. IBNLive

In fact, at one point of time, early in his career, even with a Green Card in his hand, Nadella seriously contemplated leaving his job at the Microsoft and returning to India. This was because his wife Anu was not able to join him in Seattle, due to the existing US law that a Green Card holder if he marries, his/her spouse visa is rejected.

The law continues even today.

"So why would I give up the coveted green card for temporary status?" Nadella writes in his book 'Hit Refresh', which officially releases in the US on Tuesday.

He married Anu in 1993. Following the wedding, Nadella intended to bring his wife over to the US to live with him.

"Well, the H1-B enables spouses to come to the US while their husbands and wives are working here. Such is the perverse logic of this immigration law. There was nothing I could do about it. Anu was my priority. And that made my decision a simple one," Nadella explains in his book.

Nadella says he went back to the US embassy in Delhi in June of 1994 and told a clerk that he wanted to give back his Green Card and apply for a H-1B visa.

"'Why?' the dumbfounded clerk asked. I said something about the crazy immigration policy and he shook his head and pushed a new form to me," Nadella writes. "The next morning, I returned to apply for a H1-B application. Miraculously, it all worked. Anu joined me (for good) in Seattle, where we would start a family and build a life together," he says.

"What I didn't expect was the instant notoriety around campus," writes Nadella. "'Hey, there goes the guy who gave up his Green card.'"

He says every other day someone would call him and ask for advice.

Nadella says much later, one of his colleagues, Kunal Bahl, quit Microsoft when his H1-B ran out and his Green Card had not yet arrived.

"He returned to India and then founded Snapdeal, which today is worth more than $1 billion and employs five thousand people. Ironically, online, cloud-based companies like Snapdeal would play an important role in my future and that of Microsoft. And the lessons I learned in my former country continue to shape my present," he says.

Giving an insight into his childhood, Nadella says by Class 12 his dream was to play cricket for Hyderabad and eventually work for a bank.

Nadella was a student of Hyderabad Public School (HPS).

"By Class 12 if you had asked me about my dream it was to attend a small college, play cricket for Hyderabad, and eventually work for a bank. That was it. Being an engineer and going to the West never occurred to me," he says.

Nadella says his mother was happy with those plans but dad advised him to get out of Hyderabad.

He writes that the list of alumni from the Hyderabad Public School speaks for itself.

"Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe; Ajay Singh Banga, the CEO of MasterCard; Syed B Ali, head of Cavium Networks; Prem Watsa, founder of Fairfax Financial Holdings in Toronto; Parliament leaders, film stars, athletes, academics, and writers — all came from this small, out-of-the-way school," he adds.

Updated Date:

also read

Microsoft will permanently remove Adobe Flash from Windows 10 in July 2021
News & Analysis

Microsoft will permanently remove Adobe Flash from Windows 10 in July 2021

Adobe’s Flash Player was released in 1996 and was one of the most popular online technologies until it was plagued by security bugs and under-performance while rivals like HTML5 rose to fame.

Microsoft announces 13 EA Games that will receive FPS Boost on Xbox Series X, Series S
News & Analysis

Microsoft announces 13 EA Games that will receive FPS Boost on Xbox Series X, Series S

The backward compatibility team of Xbox Wire developed FPS Boost in February 2021, a feature that employed a variety of new ways for nearly doubling the original framerate on select titles.

Microsoft profits jump 44 percent to $15.5 billion as cloud services keep momentum
News & Analysis

Microsoft profits jump 44 percent to $15.5 billion as cloud services keep momentum

Microsoft said its commercial cloud revenue was up some 33 percent in its fiscal third quarter as part of the growing trend.