Microsoft Satya Nadella is “very bullish” on Asia, China and India

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft Corp., at the company’s Ignite Spotlight event in Seoul, South Korea on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2019. 15, 2022. Nadella delivered a speech at an event hosted by the company’s Korean unit. 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,” Satya Nadella, president and CEO of Microsoft, told CNBC’s Tanvir Gill on Thursday, adding that Microsoft is investing in at least 11 regions.

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

He also added that India was a “massive growth market” after emerging from the pandemic.

“Microsoft’s presence in India was mainly for multinational companies operating in India. But for now, that has completely changed,” he said.

“It’s the reverse where those companies that are innovating in India, be it big conglomerates, or new start-ups, are all using [artificial intelligence] cloud technology to be able to innovate and create services that are obviously popular in India and elsewhere,” he told CNBC.

Microsoft previously told India’s Economic Times that there is huge demand for new cloud-native application development in India.

Technology layoffs

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

Asked if there will be more job cuts to come as growth continues to slow, the CEO said: ‘We are very committed to ensuring that our operating expenses and growth of our revenues are kind of compatible, because after all, we are a company that needs to be run super well.”

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

Meta laid off 11,000 workers, 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.

“Today’s job markets are much more resilient,” Nadella said, adding that most businesses, 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 properly,” he said.

“One of the fascinating things about the United States is the amount of capital invested,” he said, adding that new industrial infrastructure such as manufacturing plants, power plants and battery factories are under construction.

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

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

Microsoft shares were at $241.73 in after-hours trading. Shares have fallen 27.8% since the start of the year.

– This is a developing story. Please check for updates.

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