Microsoft Satya Nadella is ‘very optimistic’ about Asia, China and India

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., at the company’s Ignite Spotlight event in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, November 15, 2022. Nadella delivered a keynote speech at an event hosted by the company’s Korean division. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Seong Joon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The CEO of Microsoft says he is optimistic about Asia, especially China and India, as Microsoft plans to build more data centers around the world.

“Absolutely. We’re very, very optimistic about what’s happening in Asia,” Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella told CNBC’s Tanvir Gill in an interview Thursday, adding that Microsoft is investing in at least 11 regions.

“We are absolutely committed to all these countries and China as well. Today, we mainly work to support multinational companies operating in China and multinational companies outside of China.”

He also added that India has been a “massive growth market” after coming out of the pandemic.

“Microsoft’s presence in India has been about mostly multinational companies operating in India. But for now it has completely changed,” he said.

“It’s the other way around where these companies that are innovating in India, whether it’s the big big conglomerates or the new startups, are all leveraging [artificial intelligence] cloud technology to innovate and create services that are clearly popular in India and elsewhere,” he told CNBC.

Microsoft previously told Indian media outlet Economic Times that there is a huge demand for the development of new native cloud applications in India.

Technical layoffs

Microsoft announced in October a round of layoffs affecting less than 1% of its employees.

When asked if further job cuts will continue as growth continues to slow, the CEO said: “We are very committed to making sure that our operating costs and our revenue growth are more or less compatible, because after all, we are a company that is super must be properly managed.”

US tech giants have been laying off workers on a massive scale, but Nadella insisted he was optimistic about the job market there.

Meta has laid off 11,000 employees, Snap is laying off more than 1,000 people, while Twitter cut about half its workforce last month after Elon Musk took control of the social media giant.

“Current job markets are much more resilient,” says Nadella, adding that most companies, from energy companies to banks and retailers, need software engineers.

He added that no industry is immune to macroeconomic problems. “So everyone has to manage costs and demand well,” he said.

“One of the fascinating things about the US is the amount of capital that is being invested,” he said, adding that new industrial infrastructure is being built, such as factories, power plants and battery plants.

“I’m much more focused on observing what’s happening in terms of new growth in the United States. So I’m very, very optimistic about the US and the world.”

Nadella replaced billionaire Steve Ballmer as Microsoft’s CEO in 2014. Before that, Nadella served as executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group.

Microsoft shares were $241.73 in after-hours trading. Stocks are down 27.8% year-to-date.

– This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.

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