Colleges of the CEOs from the first 10 of the Fortune 500

<p>With all of the focus on HYPSM here on CC, it is interesting to look at this list of the CEOs of the top 10 of the Fortune 500, with their majors:</p>

<p>Wal-Mart - Georgia Tech, Industrial Engineering
Exxon - University of Wisconsin, Chemical Engineering
Chevron - UC Davis - Agricultural Economics
GM - Texas Tech, Industrial Engineering
Conoco Phillips - University of Texas, Finance
GE - Dartmouth, Applied Math
Ford - University of Kansas, Aeronautical Engineering
Citigroup - Gannon University, Electrical Engineering
Bank of America - Brown University, History
AT&T - University of Central Oklahoma, Accounting</p>

<p>Actually, did a search and Time Magazine did this in 2006. Some of the players have changed, but here is what they found. Their conclusion: "What does this mean for students? An elite career doesn't always stem from an elite education."</p>

<p>Exxon Mobil Rex Tillerson University of Texas at Austin
Wal-Mart Stores H. Lee Scott Pittsburg State University in Kansas
General Motors Rick Wagoner Duke University
Chevron David O'Reilly University College, Dublin
Ford Motor William Ford, Jr. Princeton University
ConocoPhillips James Mulva University of Texas
General Electric Jeff Immelt Dartmouth College
Citigroup Charles Prince University of Southern California
American Intl. Group (AIG) Martin J. Sullivan N/A
Intl. Business Machines Samuel J. Palmisano Johns Hopkins University
Hewlett-Packard Mark V. Hurd Baylor University
Bank of America Corp. Ken Lewis Georgia State University
Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett University of Nebraska
Home Depot Robert Nardelli Western Illinois University
Valero Energy Bill Klesse University of Dayton
McKesson John Hammergren University of Minnesota
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Jamie Dimon Tufts University
Verizon Communications Ivan Seidenberg City University of New York
Cardinal Health Robert D. Walter Ohio University
Altria Group Louis Camilleri University of Lausanne (Switzerland)
Kroger David Dillon University of Kansas
State Farm Insurance Cos. Edward B. Rust, Jr. Illinois Wesleyan University
Marathon Oil Clarence Cazalot, Jr. Louisiana State University
Procter & Gamble Alan G. Lafley Hamilton College
Dell Kevin Rollins Brigham Young University
Boeing W. James McNerney, Jr. Yale University
AmerisourceBergen R. David Yost U.S. Air Force Academy
Costco Wholesale James Sinegal San Diego State University
Target Robert Ulrich University of Minnesota
Morgan Stanley John J. Mack Duke University
Pfizer Henry A. McKinnell University of British Columbia
Johnson & Johnson William Weldon Quinnipiac College
Sears Holdings Alan J. Lacy Georgia Institute of Technology
Merrill Lynch Stan O'Neal Kettering University
MetLife Rob Henrikson University of Pennsylvania
Dow Chemical Andrew N. Liveris University of Queensland
UnitedHealth Group William W. McGuire University of Texas at Austin
Wellpoint Larry C. Glasscock Cleveland State University
AT&T Edward Whitacre, Jr. Texas Tech University
Time Warner Richard D. Parsons University of Hawaii
Goldman Sachs Group Lloyd Blankfein Harvard University
Lowe's Robert Niblock University of North Carolina
United Technologies George David Harvard University
United Parcel Service Michael L. Eskew Purdue University
Walgreen David Bernauer North Dakota State University
Wells Fargo Richard Kovacevich Stanford University
Albertson's Larry Johnston Stetson University
Microsoft Steve Ballmer Harvard University
Intel Paul Otellini University of San Francisco
Safeway Steven Burd Carroll College</p>

<p>And, 4 days ago, Business Week published this, the list of the most frequently mentioned colleges (unclear what the denominator is):</p>

<ol>
<li><p>University of California (12 CEOs), CEO graduate: William Johnson, H.J. Heinz (HNZ)</p></li>
<li><p>School of Hard Knocks (12 CEOs), CEO graduate: Steve Jobs, Apple (AAPL)</p></li>
<li><p>Harvard College (11 CEOs), CEO graduate: Steve Ballmer, Microsoft (MSFT)</p></li>
<li><p>University of Missouri (11 CEOs), CEO graduate: David Novak, Yum! Brands (YUM)</p></li>
<li><p>University of Texas (11 CEOs), CEO graduate: Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines (LUV)</p></li>
<li><p>University of Wisconsin (11 CEOs), CEO graduate: Carol Bartz, Yahoo! (YHOO)</p></li>
<li><p>Dartmouth College (10 CEOs), CEO graduate: Enrique Salem, Symantec (SYMC)</p></li>
<li><p>Princeton (9 CEOs), CEO graduate: Andrea Jung, Avon Products (AVP)</p></li>
<li><p>Indiana University (8 CEOs), CEO graduate: Donald Knauss, Clorox (CLX)</p></li>
<li><p>Purdue University (8 CEOs), CEO graduate: Gregory Wasson, Walgreen (WAG)</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Thirty years from now, the pedigrees of the most powerful executives will be sterling.</p>

<p>Back then, only trust fund babies and prep school brats went to the elite colleges--everyone else went to the most affordable school close to home.</p>

<p>Priorities were different, and these lists reflect that.</p>

<p>This is UNDERGRAD education. Many CEOs did MBAs at Harvard/Wharton/whatnot.</p>

<p>I would say the best measure of how "good" a school is would be % of graduates who receive PhDs. Becoming a CEO often comes down to who you know, not what you know, and is often a production of the person, not the school they attended</p>

<p>Actually KWU it's been just the opposite. Ivy grads used to dominate the CEO ranks but the trend has been steady toward state schools for a decade or more. I doubt that will reverse.</p>

<p>pbleic,
I noticed that University of Texas and Dartmouth are the only schools on all three of your lists.</p>

<p>
[quote]

  1. School of Hard Knocks (12 CEOs), CEO graduate: Steve Jobs, Apple (AAPL)

[/quote]
</p>

<p>My favorite school.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I would say the best measure of how "good" a school is would be % of graduates who receive PhDs. Becoming a CEO often comes down to who you know, not what you know, and is often a production of the person, not the school they attended

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Meh, I'd disagree. PhDs are for academia. I don't necessarily agree that 'most CEOs' is the most accurate way to rank a college. If it included "found and currently runs as CEO", that'd be a different story.</p>

<p>Ed Whitacre is a friend of my family's. He is currently the CEO of General Motors; prior to that, he was the CEO of AT&T (the old Southwestern Bell prior to that).</p>

<p>His alma mater is Texas Tech.</p>

<p>He's endowing the school of engineering there; they are re-naming it after him given his generosity.</p>

<p>Of course, I am amazed by the lack of sophistication of people on CC who don't realize that successful people are successful people regardless of where they go to school.</p>

<p>I don't know why people are obsessed with the notion of Ivy Leagues. I don't see them monopolizing the nation any more.</p>

<p>
[quote]
***And, 4 days ago, Business Week published this, the list of the most frequently mentioned colleges (unclear what the denominator is):</p>

<ol>
<li><p>University of California (12 CEOs), CEO graduate: William Johnson, H.J. Heinz (HNZ)</p></li>
<li><p>School of Hard Knocks (12 CEOs), CEO graduate: Steve Jobs, Apple (AAPL)</p></li>
<li><p>Harvard College (11 CEOs), CEO graduate: Steve Ballmer, Microsoft (MSFT)</p></li>
<li><p>University of Missouri (11 CEOs), CEO graduate: David Novak, Yum! Brands (YUM)</p></li>
<li><p>University of Texas (11 CEOs), CEO graduate: Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines (LUV)</p></li>
<li><p>University of Wisconsin (11 CEOs), CEO graduate: Carol Bartz, Yahoo! (YHOO)</p></li>
<li><p>Dartmouth College (10 CEOs), CEO graduate: Enrique Salem, Symantec (SYMC)</p></li>
<li><p>Princeton (9 CEOs), CEO graduate: Andrea Jung, Avon Products (AVP)</p></li>
<li><p>Indiana University (8 CEOs), CEO graduate: Donald Knauss, Clorox (CLX)</p></li>
<li><p>Purdue University (8 CEOs), CEO graduate: Gregory Wasson, Walgreen (WAG)

[/quote]
***</p></li>
</ol>

<p>The first listed "University of California," is often how people refer to UC Berkeley because of its flagship status. </p>

<p>So I wanted to verify William Johnson's background per HJ Heinz' site and found that he's a UCLA grad with an MBA from UT-Austin, see bio</a> per website.</p>

<p>So I would then assume that the 12 CEOs who are grads of "UC" would probably be the more general term encompassing all UC schools, eight or nine, including the newest UC Merced. </p>

<p>There are 190,000 undergrads in the whole UC system, so it wouldn't really be fair to the other schools mentioned when counting CEOs. </p>

<p>But then again, that UC can maintain that many undergrads and have powerhouses in UCLA and Berk, shows how extensive California's public educational system is. </p>

<p>Add, approx 300?k Cal State students and excellent community colleges throughout the state; ~ six-seven law schools in UC; ~ 5 med schools.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Thirty years from now, the pedigrees of the most powerful executives will be sterling.</p>

<p>Back then, only trust fund babies and prep school brats went to the elite colleges--everyone else went to the most affordable school close to home.</p>

<p>Priorities were different, and these lists reflect that.

[/quote]

Exactly. Receiving a top education has become increasingly important and the Alma Maters of CEOs will be vastly different in a few decades.</p>

<p>kwu/Jersey13 and barrons have provided two very contradictory viewpoints. Perhaps they can provide some evidence to support their different conclusions so that the rest of us can judge fairly.</p>

<p>
[quote]
</p>

<p>Thirty years from now, the pedigrees of the most powerful executives will be sterling.</p>

<p>Back then, only trust fund babies and prep school brats went to the elite colleges--everyone else went to the most affordable school close to home.</p>

<p>Priorities were different, and these lists reflect that. </p>

<p>Jersey13:

[quote]

Exactly. Receiving a top education has become increasingly important and the Alma Maters of CEOs will be vastly different in a few decades.

[/quote]

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I wanted to see a nested-quote thing.</p>

<p>But to respond to yours... why would anyone want to be a CEO in the first place, with 80+ hour weeks? Except if hq were in someplace you wanted to live; had hours to where you could spend time with family; etc?</p>

<p>Oh, a lot of wannabes on CC chase money and think that that's "prestigious" to do so. And many of them don't even get that if the end game IS money, becoming a CEO isn't necessarily the only, quickest or best route. Frankly I think being head of a privately-owned company, where your salary isn't public, is a far better way of making money than working your way up the ladder of a publicly-traded company.</p>

<p>
[Quote]
Oh, a lot of wannabes on CC chase money and think that that's "prestigious" to do so. And many of them don't even get that if the end game IS money, becoming a CEO isn't necessarily the only, quickest or best route. Frankly I think being head of a privately-owned company, where your salary isn't public, is a far better way of making money than working your way up the ladder of a publicly-traded company.

[/Quote]

And this is relevant to the discussion how? You seem to have a strong urge to subtly attack students on CC at every chance possible.</p>

<p>
[quote]

  1. School of Hard Knocks (12 CEOs), CEO graduate: Steve Jobs, Apple (AAPL)

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Dang. I like how they capitalized the first letters to make it look like a real school. haha.</p>

<p>It's relevant because many people on this site have a skewered vision of success, which usually goes something like this:</p>

<p>Dedicate your life to getting into college -> Dedicate your life to getting good grades in college -> Dedicate your life to the company for a good salary</p>

<p>In reality, building your own company or working for yourself is far more fulfilling.</p>