Friends and classmates of Satya Nadella, born in Hyderabad and reported to be a favourite for the top job at US technology giant Microsoft, say they are eagerly awaiting for the formal announcement.
According to reports, the Indian-American may replace long-time Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer as he steps down. Nadella is currently executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group.
Faiz Khan, secretary of the board of directors of Hyderabad Public School and a classmate of Nadella's, noted that his friend was instrumental in starting Microsoft's iSpark robotics programme at the school in 2011.
Nadella was schooled at HPS-Begumpet.
"We are very happy and we are in touch with him. Even school management was elated with the news. After official announcement we will plan celebrations at the board and society level of the HPS. We will definitely have an official occasion to mark his elevation to the post," Khan said.
According to him, Nadella actively participated during the 25th year reunion of the 1984-batch students.
"We caught up with him in 2009 when we celebrated 25 years of passing out the school. He also was part of that. He looked a down to earth person despite his senior position in the Microsoft," Khan said.
Nadella earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University before getting his master's degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.
M Chandrasekhar, another HPS classmate and a former CEO of an IT firm in the city, said he and his friends are waiting for official announcement and feel "very proud" of his name being considered.
"We are very happy and proud about it. It is a very big responsibility he is going to take up. He may come to Hyderabad after the official announcement. We will have a very big bash when he comes here," Chandrasekhar said.
B V R Mohan Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director of Infotech Enterprises, said Nadella proved that there are no barriers for people with merit and hard work.
"We are very delighted that somebody who is an Indian... (is set to) become CEO of the largest software company in the world. It proves the point that people of merit and hard work are successful... We wish him success," he said.