Indian CEOs Globally Empowering the Companies

Indian CEOs

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Indians have been the tech-heads for a long time. Throughout the decades it has been witnessed that Indians play a pivotal role in changing the way technology works. The Indian CEOs have been pioneering the global landscape for decades. By far the beginning of 2020 seems promising for the Indian pioneers. Recently, Gita Gopinath completed her one year anniversary as the Chief Economist of IMF. Later, it was reported that Arvind Krishna will replace the long run CEO of IBM, Virginia Rometty, by April. Also, WeWork has confirmed to bring Sandeep Mathrani on board as the CEO of the company. The global companies seem to have a hold on the Indian background CEOs.

Previously, very few Indian-origin leaders were elected as the chief. After 1990, Indians did break the glass ceiling and there was a rise of executives such as Raj Gupta, Ramani Ayer, and Rakesh Gangwal. Later in the 2000s, few more Indian CEOs were added to the list. Indira Nooyi became the first Indian American woman to lead a Fortune 100 company. After 6 years, Vikram Pandit started his tenure as CEO of Citigroup. To date, various Indian leaders have acquired top-level positions in the companies globally and empowering them. The two largest technology companies are also pioneered by Indian origin CEOs and there are a lot more names added to the list.

Below are some of the top Indian-origin CEOs, empowering the companies globally:

1. Sundar Pichai

Indian CEOs

The list has to begin with the Sundar Pichai, Madurai, Tamil Nadu born now leads one of the biggest tech companies. He is one of the famous personalities of India. Sundar was appointed as the CEO of Google LLC in August 2015, by replacing then Founder and CEO, Larry Page. Prior to joining Google, he worked with the management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. He joined Google as the head of its product management and worked on the Google toolbar and has been involved in the development of Google Chrome. He was also a contender for the CEO of Microsoft.

Sundar was the alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kharagpur, where he completed his undergraduate degree in engineering. He has completed his advanced degree in material science from Stanford University and earned his MBA from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

2. Satya Narayana Nadella

Indian CEOs

In 2014, Steve Ballmer was replaced by Satya Nadella as the CEO of Microsoft. He is the third CEO chosen after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer for the tech giant company. Under his guidance, Microsoft became the ‘world’s most valuable company’ in November 2018. Microsoft acquired Mojang, LinkedIn, and Github, under his leadership.

Satya joined Microsoft in 1992 and held many leadership roles in Microsoft’s enterprise and consumer businesses. Before becoming the CEO, he was the executive vice-president of its cloud and enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company’s computing platforms. Prior to joining Microsoft, he worked at Sun Microsystems. Despite belonging to Hyderabad India, currently, he lives in Bellevue, Washington. Satya has completed his degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University. He also has completed his post-graduate degrees in computer science from the University of Wisconsin and business administration from the University of Chicago.

3. Shantanu Narayen

Indian CEOs

Shantanu Narayen joined Adobe in 1998, and after 8 years, he became the Chief Operating Officer (COO). In 2007, Shantanu became the CEO of Adobe. Today, he is the Chairperson, President, and CEO of Adobe Inc. He was consequently listed as the world’s best CEO by Barron’s magazine, in the year 2016 and 2017. Apart from this, he is also the board member of Pfizer and vice-chairperson of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum. Last year, he was awarded by the Padma Shri.

Shantanu has completed his under graduation in electronic engineering, and a Master’s in Computer Science, from the Bowling Green State University, Ohio. He completed his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.

4. Rajeev Suri

Rajeev Suri

Rajeev Suri was born in Delhi, India and later, became a Singaporean citizen. Currently, he resides in Espoo, Finland. He is an undergraduate from the Manipal Institute of Technology, India.

Rajeev Suri is the Indian-Singaporean a CEO of the mobile manufacturer Nokia. Prior to this, he served as the CEO of Nokia Solutions and Networks. He was also the CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks US LLC and the director at Stryker Corp a position held by him since May 2018. In 2015, he was awarded the Macro Polo Award and in 2016, he was declared as Finland’s Business Leader of the Year.

5. Vasant Narasimhan

Vasant Narasimhan

Vasant Narasimhan is a doctor by profession and currently, holds the position as the CEO of Novartis International AG. He joined Novartis in 2005. Novartis International AG is a multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland, and recognized as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies by both market capitalization and sales. In 2015, Fortune listed him under “40 under 40 List” in the 7th position.

Vasant belongs to an Indian background and is an Indian-American by profession. He has completed his education in Bachelor’s from the University of Chicago, in biological sciences and then his MD from Harvard Medical School and finally, his master’s in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

6. Ajaypal Singh Banga

Ajaypal Singh Banga

Born in Pune, Ajaypal Singh Banga is currently serving as the CEO and President of MasterCard. He completed his degree in economics from Delhi University and completed his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.

In 2010, Ajay succeeded Robert W Selander who has been the CEO since 1997. Ajay has also served as the CEO of Citigroup Asia Pacific, worked in Nestlé (India) and PepsiCo. He is also the Co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute, a founding trustee of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum. The former US president Barack Obama appointed him to serve as a Member of the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

7. Sanjay Mehrotra

Sanjay Mehrotra

Sanjay Mehrotra is an alumnus of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science and graduated from the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Program. He holds a degree in electrical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley.

Prior to joining Micron, Sanjay was one of the Co-founders of SanDisk and served as its CEO and president from 2011 to 2016. Sanjay joined Micron in 2017 as the CEO and president of the company.

8. Dinesh C. Paliwal

Dinesh C. Paliwal

Dinesh Paliwal joined Harman International Industries in 2007. Harman International Industries is the provider of audio and infotainment systems for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets, which was acquired by Samsung in 2017. Dinesh serves as the President and CEO of Harman International that is now the subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd.

Dinesh was born and brought up in Uttar Pradesh, India. He graduated from the University of Roorkee, which is now the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. Dinesh won a scholarship to study at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He completed his degrees in engineering and management.

9. Jayshree V. Ullal

Jayshree V. Ullal

Jayshree Ullal born in London and raised in Delhi is an Indian-American billionaire businesswoman. She is the President and CEO of Arista Networks, a cloud networking company. She acquired the position of CEO in October 2008. For her work at Arista Networks, she was named as “One of the top five most influential people in the networking industry today” by Forbes magazine.

Despite belonging to an Indian background, Jayshree completed her graduation in electrical engineering from the San Francisco State University. She received her master’s degree in engineering management from Santa Clara University.

10. Arvind Krishna

Indian CEOs

Recently, Arvind Krishna is the new name added to the list of the Indian origin CEO of global companies. In January 2020, IBM named Arvind Krishna as the CEO to replace Virginia Rometty by April 6 this year. He is currently head of IBM’s cloud and cognitive software unit and was the principal architect of the company’s purchase of Red Hat.

Arvind completed his graduation from IIT, Kanpur, and earned his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is all set to join the list of Indian-origin CEOs at the helm of global companies.

Also Read: 10 Highest Paid CEO in India




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West has been driving the business world owing to its developed economies. The leading part of the world is straining to sustain its dominance. However, the other parts of the world, especially Asia Pacific region have been displaying escalating growth in terms of business and technological advancements.

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