Where the CEOs of the top 10 US companies studied

No. 1 most profitable company led by a graduate of the University of Arkansas

The CEOs in charge of the top 100 U.S. companies attended a range of colleges—many of which are not elite names but rather public, state, or national universities. 

U.S. News & World Report looked at the educational backgrounds of the leaders of Fortune's top 100 companies and found that among the most popular areas of study were finance, engineering, economics, and business.

The growing—and changing—market of professional master's programs

At the top 10 companies, in terms of revenue:

1. C. Douglas McMillon, CEO and president of Wal-Mart Stores, attended the University of Arkansas to study business administration.

2. Rex Tillerson, CEO and chair of Exxon Mobil, attended the University of Texas at Austin and studied civil engineering.

3. Timothy Cook, CEO of Apple, studied industrial engineering at Auburn University.

4. Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, studied economics at the University of Nebraska.

5. John Hammergren, CEO, president, and chair of McKesson, studied business administration at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

6. Stephen Hemsley, CEO and president of UnitedHealth Group, studied accounting at Fordham University.

7. Larry Merlo, CEO and president of CVS Health, studied pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh.

8. Mary Barra, CEO and chair of General Motors, studied electrical engineering at Kettering University.

9. Mark Fields, CEO and president of Ford Motor, studied economics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

10. Randall Stephenson, CEO and chair of AT&T, studied accounting at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Who employers want to hire: T-shaped professionals

Schools with multiple alumni who are leaders of top companies include:

  • Cornell University,
  • Harvard University,
  • Texas A&M University,
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte,
  • Brown University,
  • University of Michigan,
  • Pennsylvania State University, and
  • Purdue University.

(Boyington [1], U.S. News & World Report, 6/27; Boyington [2], U.S. News & World Report, 6/27).

The first step to succeeding in business is succeeding in college. Here's how to make sure students stay on track

 

What would a CEO do?

Keep up with the latest news and research by following EAB on LinkedIn.

Follow us

 

Next in Today's Briefing

Book identifies six undergrad experiences that 'matter most'

Next Briefing

  • Manage Your Events
  • Saved webpages and searches
  • Manage your subscriptions
  • Update personal information
  • Invite a colleague