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Business School Is Still Best Route To Chief Executive

Nearly a third of the world’s 500 largest listed companies are headed by an MBA graduate, including Apple, Microsoft and JPMorgan Chase.

By  Seb Murray

Tue Jan 27 2015

BusinessBecause
Business school could be considered your best bet to climb to the ranks of chief executive, according to new data of corporate chiefs compiled for the FT500.

Nearly a third of the world’s 500 largest listed companies are headed by an MBA graduate, 31% in 2015 compared with 29% this time last year, most from high ranking programs.

Business schools in the top 100 of the 2015 FT MBA rankings have produced 104 chief executives of FT500 firms. The FT500 comprises the largest companies by market capitalization. Nine highly ranked schools account for 74 of these corporate leaders.

These company heads include Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella, who graduated from Chicago's Booth School of Business, and oil major BP’s CEO Bob Dudley, an alumnus of Southern Methodist University’s Cox school, both schools based in the United States.

Harvard Business School boasts the largest collection of leading alumni, with 28 FT500 chief executives among its MBA graduate ranks – three more than in 2014.

INSEAD, which has campuses in Europe, Abu Dubai and Singapore, is the only non-US business school to have more than two MBA alumni in chief executive positions, with nine FT500 CEOs.

INSEAD has more corporate chiefs than top American business schools including Stanford GSB and the Kellogg School of Business.

The data will be a fillip for business schools, whose full-time MBA programs are struggling to stay relevant, and face an onslaught of specialist master’s programs and cheap online learning.

The data also show a strong correlation between business schools’ brands and the number of chief executives leading large public companies. Harvard, for instance, was ranked number-one globally in the most recent MBA rankings released this week, while Wharton School, ranked third, has produced six top corporate chiefs.

Wharton’s cadre of CEOs includes Alex Gorsky, who leads drugs giant Johnson & Johnson, and graduated from the business school’s MBA in 1996.

But many other business schools have produced just one FT500 CEO. Cass Business School, for example, counts Coca-Cola chief executive Muhtar Kent among its alumni, and HEC Paris graduated Pascal Soriot, who is the CEO of AstraZeneca, the pharma group.

Other notable chief executives leading companies in the FT500 include Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, who is an alumnus of Harvard, Apple CEO Tim Cook, who graduated from the Fuqua School of Business, and Michael Pearson, who is the chief executive of Valeant Pharmaceuticals and an alumnus of the Darden School of Business.

The FT500 data echo a study released late in 2014 by the Harvard Business Review, which found that 29 of the best 100 performing chief executives have MBA degrees.

HBR ranked CEOs on how much return their companies’ shareholders earned on their investment, and how much the chief executives increased their companies’ market values.

Student Reviews

Bayes Business School

Student

Verified

31/10/2023

On Campus

Best Journalism school in Europe

When I first stepped onto the campus of City, University of London, I knew I was in for a ride - and not just on the Tube! With its vibrant energy and an impressive repertoire of programs, City U became my home away from home. The Journalism program was kind of a big deal. Rumour was that we were the best in Europe! The lecturers were not just experts in their field; they’re practically journalistic royalty. They were invested, passionate, and had a knack for turning the most flat press release into a riveting news story. With their guidance, I’ve learned to navigate the chaotic world of media like a pro. The campus was a melting pot of every culture, being that we had such a diverse international crowd. Being in the heart of London, I had the world at my fingertips - there was always a new corner to explore, a hidden gem of a cafe to discover, or a street performer! City, University of London wasn't just a university; it was a chapter in my life story that I’ll never forget.

Lydia

Verified

23/02/2023

On Campus

Learning environment

The teacher-learner ration is manageable, giving each learner a chance to gain personal attention. It is also easier following up on the progress of a student, as the numbers per class is not large. the conducive environment for learning includes clean classes, standard desks, world class instructional facilities and the opportunity to engage lecturers even after their sessions. The team spirit at City is above board, with learners getting chance to learn both from instructors and colleagues. This is the university of choice; the place to be.

Nathaniel

Verified

24/01/2023

On Campus

Classes

I liked that each class had a manageable number of learners, making the professor-learner ratio favor knowledge acquisition. I also liked that study schedules were manageable, and not overwhelming. The focus on talents and gifts even within the learning environment makes it possible for learners to achieve the best of their potential, and this has worked to the advantage of those that have schooled at City, University of London

Muhammad

Verified

24/01/2023

On Campus

Classes

The diversity at City University facilitates interactions and is a direction toward the unity of the world. The classes are well built to match the number and needs of all students regardless of the elements of diversity that set people apart. The use of technology in delivery makes learning even more interesting and achievable. At City University there is no distinction pegged on the issues that make people unique.

Dorah

Verified

23/01/2023

On Campus

professors

The team of lecturers at the Uiversity are well experienced. Their level of insight and the methodologies of delivery works for the interes of the leaeners. My learning experience was largely boosted by the level of knowledge of the professors at the institution, and their passion to transfer the same to learners. I appreciate every class I attended because of the level of insight I was able to gather

Nora

Verified

17/12/2022

On Campus

The best university I’ve been to

The campus and the people I've met have made it a wonderful experience. I was reared in a small town with a graduating class of only 88 individuals, so moving to City University was a huge adjustment for me. My dorm has more residents than my whole high school combined! I enjoy the atmosphere here, and everyone is so friendly. Outstanding academic options and a stunning campus. Really great from beginning to end. The educators genuinely love what they do, and the students are ready to learn. On or around college, there is always something to do with friends, and the social scene is particularly warm.

Antonia

Verified

21/11/2022

On Campus

Bayes Business School

As a student at City university attending Bayes Business School I would totally recommend choosing this university as the experience is exceptional with great social networking opportunities . Professors are significantly helpful, delivering with excellence and professionalism. Everyone is happy to help and make you feel welcomed in such an esteem university as City, offering exceptional development and guidance through out the course.

Muhammad

Verified

15/11/2022

On Campus

Economics and Politics

Incredibly amazing university, the way they polish students and help them boost their morale and think intellectually is worthwhile. Many universities have international partnerships to allow exchanges between their students. The most obvious subjects for these opportunities would be those that involve languages, and the study of people and places.

Navya

Verified

11/11/2022

On Campus

Clinical biology

I really like it it’s perfect for me with not too many people and not too few either. All the modules are amazing. I love the toy bar. I love all the societies that I’ma part of. Especially the colour Bollywood society

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