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Which Universities Produce the Most CEOs.

It’s no secret that certain universities produce some of the most influential CEOs of our time. You almost can’t help but wonder: is it the schools that attract the types of individuals who may have been successful anyway? Or is it the institutions which make them flourish? It’s the classic “chicken-or-the-egg” scenario. Regardless of which came first, it certainly is powerful to obtain a degree from one of these elite schools.

Let’s have a look at which universities produced the most individuals currently holding a CEO position, based on a recent list from Times Higher Education (THE):

1. Harvard University. Perhaps the most obvious of our time is Harvard, and the most current individual, Mark Zuckerberg. The best part? He didn’t even graduate. Zuckerberg aside, Harvard still holds the lead having granted 25 degrees to current Fortune 500 CEOs. Among this group are Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs), and Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase).

2. Stanford University. Next up on the list is Stanford University, with a total of 11 current CEOs holding a degree from their establishment. Notable alumni from Stanford: Reed Hastings (Netflix), Rodney O’Neal (Delphi Automotive), and Richard Fairbank (Capital One).

3. University of Pennsylvania. Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn), Harold McGraw III (McGraw Hill Financial), and Steve Wynn (Wynn Resorts) possess a degree from this prestigious university.

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There are seven current CEOs holding degrees from MIT. Members of this group include Charles Koch (Koch Industries), Drew Houston (Dropbox), and Alan Mulally (Ford Motor Company).

5. Cornell University. Coming in at #5 is Cornell, with six alumni holding current CEO positions. Irene Rosenfeld (Mondel?z International), Lowell McAdam (Verizon Communications), and Herbert Fisk Johnson III (S.C. Johnson & Son) are members of this crowd.

6. University of Chicago. Sitting comfortably at #6 is University of Chicago, also with six current alums with a title of CEO. On the list here are Brady Dougan (Crédit Suisse Group), J. Patrick Doyle (Domino’s Pizza), and Mark Hoplamazian (Hyatt Hotels Corporation).

7. Northwestern University. If you want to grab a seat at the table with the likes of Cesare Mainardi (Booz & Company), Thomas J. Wilson (Allstate Corporation), and Andrew S. Duff (Piper Jaffray), then you may want to pursue a career at Northwestern.

8. Columbia University. Columbia sits at #8 on the list. Among the six current CEOs holding a degree from Columbia are Ursula Burns (Xerox), Michael Gould (Bloomingdale’s), and César Alierta (Telefónica).

9. Yale University. Ellis Jones (Wasserstein Perella & Co.), James McNerney (Boeing Company), and Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group) all emerged as current CEOs from Yale.

10. Southern Methodist University. In the #10 spot with four current CEOs is Southern Methodist. Aart J. de Geus (Synopsys), C. David Cush (Virgin America), and Edward B. Rust Jr. (State Farm Insurance) are three individuals who are part of this exclusive club.

Author Bio: Amish Shah has worked in the recruiting industry for more than 18 years. Mr. Shah’s expertise in the recruiting industry has been cited in NY Times, LA Times,, and other popular news resources. He currently presides over Millennium Search, the premier executive search firm for emerging and high growth technology companies.


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