13 Top CEOs And Their Educational Background (2024 Updated)

Educational qualifications can be the first rung on the ladder for most industry captains or industry experts. 

According to the study, around 34.6% of CEOs have a doctorate or master’s degree, and 22.3% of CEOs have degrees in Master of Business Administration. 

To learn more about the top CEOs and their educational backgrounds, refer to the article below. 

Here in this article, you will get an insight into the academic attainments of the top 10 CEOs.

 If you are in a hurry, you can go through the quick overview provided below. 

Name Of CEO Name Of CompanyEducational Background 
1. Satya NadellaMicrosoft Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering
M.S. in Computer Science
2. Douglas McMillonWalmart Masters in Business Administration
3. Andy JassyAmazon Masters in Business Administration
4. Tim CookAppleB.S. Industrial Engineering
Masters of Business Administration
5. Sundar PichaiAlphabet (Google) B.S. Metallurgical Engineering
M.S. in Material Science and Engineering
6. Alex GorskyJohnson and JohnsonMasters in Business Administration. 
7. Andrew WittyUnitedHealth GroupB.A. in Economics
8. Elon MuskTeslaBachelor’s degree in Physics and Economics
9. Warren BuffettBerkshire Hathaway B.S. Business Administration, M.A. Economics
10. Mark ZuckerbergMeta (Facebook )Attended Harvard University (Dropped out)

Top CEOs And Their Educational Backgrounds

Given below are the top 10 most influential CEOs, along with their educational backgrounds. 

1. Satya Nadella

Satya Narayana Nadella is an American Indian American business head born in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, on 19th August 1967.

He was Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group’s executive vice president before becoming the CEO of Microsoft. 

Top 10+ CEOs & Their Educational Backgrounds  - Satya Nadella

Nadella also led the research and development of the online services division and has been the Microsoft business division’s vice president. 

He worked as a technology staff member at Sun Microsystems before joining Microsoft in 1992.

  • Educational Background.

Satya Nadella attained his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology, Karnataka, in 1988.

He completed his M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 1990.

After completing his M.S., he studied Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in the year 1997. 

  • Company: Executive chairman and Chief executive officer of Microsoft. 

2. Douglas McMillon

Carl Douglas McMillon is an American businessman born on 17th October 1966. 

Being a Native of Jonesboro, Arkansas, Douglas McMillon started his career as an associate at the distribution center of Walmart.

Douglas McMillon

Before becoming CEO in 2014, he was a Buyer trainee and an assistant manager. Also, he led the company’s Sam’s Club division from the year 2005 to 2009 and Walmart International from the year 2009 to 2013. 

  • Educational Background

Douglas McMillon Graduated with a bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas.

He attained a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Tulsa. 

Bonus Tip: To get started with your MBA journey by learning about my guide on the average cost of master’s degree and figuring out your career path.

  • Company: President and CEO of Walmart.

3. Andy Jassy

Andy Jassy, born on 13th January 1968, is an American Business Executive who led many leadership positions in the Cloud Computing Subsidiary of Amazon. 

Andy Jassy

Before becoming CEO, he worked as a marketing manager in the year 1997 and also served as a Senior vice president and CEO of Amazon Web Services from 2003 to 2021. 

He was named “Person of the Year” in March 2016 by The Financial Times.

  • Educational Background

Andy Jassy completed his Bachelor’s degree in B.A. in government from Harvard University.

He attained his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. 

  • Company: Andy Jassy is the chief executive officer of Amazon. 

                  (Jassy became CEO on 5th July 2021 after Bezos designated him as the CEO)

4. Tim Cook

Born on 1st November 1960 in Mobile, Alabama, Timothy Donald Cook served as the chief operating officer at Intelligent Electronics and as a director of North American Fulfillment at IBM. 

Cook served as the chief operating officer at Apple under Steve Jobs before becoming CEO in 2011. 

Tim Cook

He has also served as a board member of Nike since 2005 and owns about 3.3 million shares of Apple. 

  • Educational Background

Tim Cook completed his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial engineering from Auburn University in the year 1982 and completed his MBA from Duke University in 1988. 

  • Company: Tim Cook is the Chief Executive officer of Apple. 

5. Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai was born on 10th June 1972 in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India, and is Indian American Chief Executive.

He started his career as a material engineer, joined Google in 2004, and led project management and innovation for ChromeOS and Google Chrome. 

Sundar Pichai
  • Educational Background

Sundar Pichai earned a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from IIT Kharagpur, and after that, he earned an M.S. in material science and engineering from Stanford University.

After that, he studied MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. 

  • Company: Sundar Pichai is the CEO of Alphabet (Google).

6. Alex Gorsky

Alex Gorsky is an American Businessman and Executive Chairman of Johnson and Johnson and was born in 1960.

In 1988, He joined Johnson and Johnson as a sales representative in the pharmaceutical unit named Janssen Pharmaceuticals. 

Alex Gorsky

He joined Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation as a head of general medicines and COO (chief operating officer) in 2004. 

Educational Background

Gorsky studied Master’s of Business Administration at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the year 1996. 

Company: Alex Gorsky is the Chief executive officer at Jhonson and Johnson. 

7. Andrew Witty

Andrew Witty is a British Business Executive born on 22nd August 1964. He joined Glaxo UK as a management trainee.

He was CEO of GlaxoSmithKline from the year 2008 to 2017. Also, he served as general manager and Vice president of Glaxo Wellcome Inc., a GlaxoSmithKline subsidiary. 

Andrew Witty

Witty was also appointed as a chancellor of the University of Nottingham in October 2021. 

  • Educational Background

Andrew Witty earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Nottingham. 

  • Company: Andrew Witty is the CEO of UnitedHealth Group. 

8. Elon Musk

Elon Musk, born on 28th June 1971, is an investor and Business Magnate and is the co-founder of six companies.

Musk invested around $6.5 million and became a majority shareholder of Tesla. He is the president of the Musk Foundation.

Elon Musk

According to the New York Times, Elon Musk was the highest-paid CEO in the year 2018, with a compensation of about $2.3 billion. 

  • Educational Background

Elon Musk earned a Bachelor’s degree in physics and Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. 

  • Company: Elon Musk is Tesla’s product architect and Chief executive officer. 

9. Warren Buffett

Warren Buffet is an investor, philanthropist, and business magnate, born on 30th August 1930, and has an incredible investing track record. 

He is the fifth wealthiest person in the world, possessing a net worth of around $108 billion, and is known for his success with substantial investments. 

Warren Buffett

Buffet worked as an investment salesman at Buffet Falk and co., as a securities analyst at Graham Newman Corp., and as a general partner at Buffett Partnership. 

  • Educational Background 

Buffett earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska. 

He attained a degree of Master of Arts in Economics from Columbia University.

  • Company: Warren Buffet is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. 

10.  Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg was born on 14th May 1984 in White Plains, New York. He showed a keen interest in computers and learned basic programming languages.

He developed an instant messaging app at the age of 12, and in February 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook. 

Mark Zuckerberg

In 2004, Zuckerberg launched Wirehog, a competing file-sharing service, and in 2013, he launched internet.org, which is a partnership between social networking services and six companies. 

  • Educational Background.

Mark Zuckerberg attended Ardsley High School. He also attended Harvard University, but after his sophomore year, he dropped out to focus on the development of Facebook. 

  • Company: Founder and CEO of Facebook (Meta).

11.  Salil Parekh

Since 2018, Salil Parekh has been the CEO and Managing Director of Infosys.

With more than 30 years of experience in the IT industry, he held senior positions in top companies like Ernst & Young and Capgemini.

Salil Parekh Infosys ceo

He has made significant progress in the company’s investment in research and development. Salil also helped in the company’s expansion in cloud computing and artificial intelligence. 

He is a well-known IT industry professional with great strategic and execution abilities. With such a vision, he is determined to make Infosys a global leader in digital transformation.

  • Educational Background

Salil holds a graduate degree from IIM in Aeronautical Engineering. He also has a Master’s degree in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.

He also has completed an advanced management program at Harvard Business School.

  • Company: CEO and Chairman of Infosys.

12. Eddie Yongming Wu

Since June 2023, Eddie Yongming Wu has been the CEO of Alibaba.

He was previously the chairman of Taobao and Tmall Group, China’s leading e-commerce services. 

eddie Yongming wu Alibaba ceo

Notably, he was in charge of creating Alibaba’s monetization engine on Taobao and Tmall, which aided revenue growth.  

  • Educational Background:

Eddie has a bachelor’s degree in Law from China University of Political Science and Law. He is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Law from Columbia University. 

  • Company: CEO of Alibaba

13. Bob Iger

Bob Iger is an American media business executive who serves as the chairman of the board and chief executive officer (CEO) of The Walt Disney Company.

He is driving substantial development and innovation at Disney. He was involved in the acquisitions of Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel Entertainment, and 21st Century Fox. 

Bob Iger Disney CEO

He also expanded the theme park resorts throughout Asia. His initiatives increased Disney’s market value from $48 billion to $257 billion. 

Under his management, the company has received 22 Academy Awards, 119 Emmy Awards, and 10 Grammy Awards.

  • Educational Background

Bob Iger graduated from Ithaca College in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in television production and broadcast journalism. 

  • Company: CEO of Walt Disney

Related Read:


The top CEOs of the United States have degrees in different fields of Majors. 

Even though all of them have different academic backgrounds, the most common thread between all the top CEOs is their determination, dedication, and consistency in hard work.

Here’s a wrap for the top 10 CEOs and their educational backgrounds. Read the article and share your thoughts on them in the comments section below. 


What kind of degrees do most CEOs have?

Graduate and undergraduate degrees in different majors are a few common degrees, and the Master’s of Business Administration is also attained by the majority of CEOs. 

 Who are the highest-paid CEOs?

Elon Musk (Tesla), Tim Cook (Apple), etc., are some of the highest-paid CEOs. 

How many CEOs dropped out of college?

 Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Bill Gates (former CEO of Microsoft), Larry Page (Co-founder of Google), Michael Dell (Dell Computers), etc., are a few CEOs who dropped out of college. 

Ryan Harris

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