Legendary pace bowler Zaheer Khan was a surprise guest at the prestigious Axel Springer awards that honoured Microsoft Chairman and CEO, Satya Nadella’s visionary entrepreneurship. The non-monetary award is a recognition offered to outstanding personalities who demonstrate an exceptional talent for innovation, create and transform markets, shape culture, and also face their social responsibility.
Satya Nadella receives an autographed bat from Zaheer Khan at Axel Springer Awards
Hyderabad born Satya Nadella is well-known as a cricket fan, and Zaheer’s surprise appearance with his wife Sagarika, and his laudatory speech, clearly made the evening even more special for the global corporate leader.
“Cricket is a symphony, and every player is a note in that composition. Leadership in cricket is about being a guiding light and source of inspiration,” said Zaheer, no stranger to excellence himself, drawing a parallel between his sport and the corporate world. “In cricket we lead not with arrogance but with humility. In the journey of Satya Nadella, we see a reflection of these principles in the corporate world. Congratulations, you do India proud,” he concluded, as he presented Satya with an autographed bat.
A broadcast clip shared by the award organisers, showed Mr. Nadella‘s delighted reaction at meeting Zaheer, as he accepted the bat “I thought I was going to come in and get an award in a conference room and here it is I’m listening to Bollywood music and (here is) my cricket hero! Oh my god, it’s crazy… it’s great, thank you!”
The Axel Springer Awards honour outstanding personalities who are innovative in an extraordinary way, who create and change markets and who shape culture while at the same time shouldering their social responsibility. The award recognizes accomplishments so far and encourages further steps. At the same time, the award winners should be role models for others to bring their own ideas to fruition. Past awardees include the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the BioNTech founders zlem Treci and UÄur Åahin, Elon Musk, Founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, among others, the economist and author Shoshana Zuboff, Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, as well as Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Meta.