Zain Nadella, the son of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and his wife Anu, died early Monday morning, according to Microsoft Corporation. He was 26 years old and had cerebral palsy from birth.
In an email, the software company informed its top personnel that Zain had died. Executives were requested to keep the family in their thoughts and prayers while providing them room to grieve privately, according to the statement.
Nadella has focused the firm on building products to better assist people with disabilities since taking over as CEO in 2014, citing lessons he learnt while raising and supporting Zain.
Last year, the Seattle Children’s Hospital partnered with the Nadellas to create the Zain Nadella Endowed Chair in Pediatric Neurosciences, which is part of the Seattle Children’s Center for Integrative Brain Research.
In a message sent to Microsoft’s executive team by Kathleen Hogan, the company’s chief people officer, Jeff Sperring, CEO of Seattle Children’s Hospital, wrote: “Zain will be remembered for his eclectic taste in music, his bright sunny smile, and the immense joy he brought to his family and all those who loved him.”
Zain Nadella was born with cerebral palsy after suffering from hypoxia in utero. In his 2017 book, Hit Refresh, Satya Nadella frankly described how his son’s birth forced him to develop as a person.
He wrote, “I was crushed.” “However, I was more disappointed in how things turned out for me and Anu.” Thankfully, Anu was able to help me realise that it wasn’t about what had occurred to me. It was about gaining a thorough grasp of what had occurred to Zain and creating empathy for his suffering and circumstances while adopting our parental responsibilities.”
Zain was transported to Seattle Children’s Hospital immediately after his birth and spent a large amount of time there receiving treatment and care throughout his childhood. The Nadella family gave $15 million to Seattle Children’s last year to assist the hospital’s work in neurosciences medicine and mental health care, which included the creation of the Zain Nadella Endowed Chair in Pediatric Neurosciences.
“As parents, our lives have been impacted by the needs of our children,” Anu Nadella said at the time. “It is our belief that by recognising Zain’s path, we can enhance and innovate care for future generations in every community.”
The Nadellas have two daughters as well. Satya Nadella mentioned in his book that becoming Zain’s father had a deep influence on him.
In one incident, Nadella noted, “Zain likes music and has wide-ranging preferences spanning eras, genres, and performers.” “He enjoys everything from Leonard Cohen to Abba to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and wants to be allowed to listen to whichever music suited him at the time.”
Zain, on the other hand, was unable to regulate the music, which was a cause of aggravation for him and his family. When three high school students learned about the difficulty, they volunteered to create a Windows programme that allowed Zain to effortlessly navigate the music by tapping his head against a sensor on the side of his wheelchair.
“What freedom and happiness my son has gained thanks to the empathy of three youngsters,” Nadella wrote.
After becoming Microsoft CEO in 2014, Nadella recalled seeing Zain in the intensive care unit. He observed all of the medical equipment that were linked to the cloud and ran Windows.
“It was a sharp reminder that our work at Microsoft went beyond business, that it made a frail little boy’s life possible.” It also gave the upcoming decisions about our cloud and Windows 10 upgrades at work a new sense of urgency. I remember thinking to myself, “We’d better do this right.”
Microsoft said the Nadella family is grieving quietly over Zain’s death.
In her statement to Microsoft executives, Hogan said, “I know we all want to help Satya during this tough time.” “Right now, the greatest thing you can do is keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers while giving them the space and time they need to absorb such a tragic loss.”