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"Microsoft's success has to contribute to the sucess of people, both inside and outside the company"

16 Noviembre - 2022
Manuel Abellán, Industry Executive Higher Education de Microsoft España
Manuel Abellán, Industry Executive Higher Education at Microsoft Spain

Manuel Abellán, Industry Executive Higher Education at Microsoft, participates in the second session of the cycle of conferences «Leaders at UPF-BSM»


Microsoft needs no introduction. Founded in 1975, it is one of the most recognised technology companies in the world and it would not be an exaggeration to say that the vast majority of businesses and homes around the world make daily use of the personal computers, software, consumer technology products and other services that have been developed by this technology company.  

"There are many facets of Microsoft that are not such a Trending Topic on a day-to-day basis, but which are also very relevant in the economic and, above all, social sphere", commented the Director General of the UPF Barcelona School of Management (UPF-BSM), José M. Martínez-Sierra, during the second session of the «Leaders at UPF-BSM» conference series, in reference to company's commitment to Higher Education. Microsoft, as expressed by its Industry Executive Higher Education, Manuel Abellán, highlights its innovative and collaborative drive with institutions, universities, governments and education systems globally, through agreements such as the one recently signed with UPF-BSM to promote digital talent and employability.

"Cloud-related technology is expected to create 65,000 new jobs by 2024 and, over the next decade, 70 per cent of employees will require technical skills"

"My work focuses on empowering students and institutions for the future", said Abellán, who pointed out that technological innovation in the field of education is currently transforming the needs of the labour market. "Cloud-related technology is expected to create 65,000 new jobs by 2024 and 70% of employees in the next decade will require technical knowledge", he said. Precisely those areas related to the cloud –such as artificial intelligence, data and cognitive capabilities– are key to Microsoft's strategy and the ones it is working on most, although, at the same time "it is something that is perhaps not so well known to the general public". 

Resilience, key to leadership

After his introduction to the world of the company and, specifically, to the Higher Education division, Abellán gave the attendees some reflections on leadership. "Microsoft's success has to contribute to the success of people, both inside and outside the organisation", said the executive, who appealed to the "Growth Mindset" mentality, incorporated into the technology company with the arrival in 2014 of its current CEO, Satya Nadella. 

"Leadership is cross-cutting, in small and large companies, in the public and private sector"

"One of the elements we are trying to promote with this series of conferences is that leadership is transversal, it is played in small and large companies, in the public and private sector", said the UPF-BSM Director General, who added: "leadership has a key component: modesty". In this sense, Abellán highlighted the resilience that, as a company, they worked on after the pandemic and that helped them in the process of guiding other organisations, of all sizes, on key issues such as the implementation of a new hybrid work model, new customer expectations, process optimisation, cybersecurity or sustainability. 

To conclude his conference, Abellán shared the five keys that "make the difference in professionals":

  • Communication and listening skills
  • Leadership by example and by attraction
  • Personal branding and networking
  • Resilience and continuous learning (especially from mistakes)
  • Negotiation skills
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