Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is among the artists, activists, leaders and visionaries (including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos) who made the cut for Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list this year. But he’s a step ahead of 94 of those folks because he landed one of six covers celebrating the achievement.
Time shared the story on Thursday behind its six cover subjects: Nadella, civil rights activist Tarana Burke, tennis pro Roger Federer, actress Tiffany Haddish, actress Nicole Kidman, and singer/actress Jennifer Lopez.
Portrait photographer Peter Hapak captured all six at various points around the country, with no shoot taking longer than an hour and 10 minutes. He told Time that his approach with each subject was different, depending on what worked best for that person.
“Jennifer Lopez was listening to music because she is a performer,” Hapak said. But Nadella was “very silent and intimate” as he paused between meetings at his Microsoft office in Redmond, Wash. He was “very concentrated, very aware of what was happening,” Hapak said, according to the magazine.
As for his brief profile, all of which are written by other notable people, Nadella’s recent success at the software giant is summed up by Walter Isaacson, a former Time managing editor and a history professor at Tulane University.
Isaacson writes that Nadella has restored Microsoft’s “spirit of innovation” and the company is “now making products that feel more user-friendly, empathetic and collaborative.”
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates didn’t make the list, but he did get to write a profile, sharing his take on tennis pro Roger Federer, whom he calls the “greatest ever” at the sport.
Gates certainly knows a thing or two about being on the court with the 20-time Grand Slam singles champ, as the two teamed up in a charity doubles event in Seattle a year ago. But he also appreciates the Swiss star’s commitment to philanthropy.
“I’ve learned how sincerely Roger and his team are working to improve the life prospects for poor children,” Gates wrote. “Roger knows that effective philanthropy, like great tennis, requires discipline and time. It will be a sad day for all of us fans when he hangs up his racket — but we can take comfort in knowing that he’s committed to making the world a more equitable place.”