Jeff Bezos Tried To Lure Microsoft’s Satya Nadella to Amazon

If Jeff Bezos had his way, Satya Nadella would have been an employee of Amazon.com long before he became Microsoft's chief executive.

Bezos, more than a decade ago, tried to persuade Nadella to join the online retailer, Doug Burgum, then Nadella's manager at Microsoft, told Fast Company.

"Early on, Jeff Bezos was trying to recruit him" to Amazon, said Burgum, who left the company in 2007 and today is the governor of North Dakota. "It was my job to re-recruit him."

Nadella [pictured above] was hardly the only target at Microsoft. Amazon's ranks include plenty of former Microsoft leaders and engineers.

Burgum's pitch, he told Fast Company, was that Microsoft offered a broader range of opportunities than the online bookseller. Of course, Amazon didn't stay a bookseller, expanding to online retail across consumer goods, as well as technologies like cloud computing, artificial intelligence and tablets.

"I was wrong about my characterization of Amazon," Burgum said. "But I was right about convincing Satya to stay."

Nadella would ultimately succeed Burgum in 2007 as the leader of the company's former Microsoft Business Solutions group, and go on to lead engineering of the Bing search engine and, later, Microsoft's Server & Tools group. He replaced Steve Ballmer in Microsoft's top job in February 2014.

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