Where the world’s greatest tech leaders went to college

Posted 2 months ago
Some of the world’s greatest leaders hail from the world’s highest-ranked universities, and it’s no surprise these leaders have made a lasting impact on the thriving tech industry.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the greatest founders, CEOs and CFOs of powerful tech giants including Google, Slack, Amazon and Microsoft.


Ruth Porat

Stanford University, London School of Economics, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

CFO, Google

Porat has a bachelor of arts degree in Economics & International Relations from Stanford University, and holds a master of science degree in industrial relations from the London School of Economics and an MBA with distinction from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

She began her career at Morgan Stanley in 1987, where she later became CFO and helped to commence a number of initiatives in her tenure. In 2015, it was announced that Porat would join Google as their new CFO. She has since been credited with boosting Google's share price by reorganizing the company and imposing financial discipline for the first time.

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Jeff Bezos

Princeton University

Founder and CEO, Amazon

Bezos is an American internet and aerospace entrepreneur. He is best known as the founder, Chief executive officer, and president of Amazon.com, Inc. The first centi-billionaire on the Forbes wealth index, Bezos was named the "richest man in modern history" after his net worth increased to $150 billion in July 2018.

After graduating from Princeton in 1986 with degrees in electrical engineering and computer science, he worked on Wall Street until early 1994. He founded the online retailer, Amazon, on a cross-country roadtrip. The company originally began as an online bookstore, but has since expanded to a wide variety of other e-commerce products and services including video and audio streaming and artificial intelligence.

Satya Nadella

University of Wisconsin, Manipal Institute of Technology, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

CEO, Microsoft

Nadella is an American Indian business executive and engineer. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.

Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 and quickly became a leader, holding leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer business across the company. Since Nadella became CEO four years ago, he has situated Microsoft as the most valuable company in the world, beating Apple for the first time since 2010.

Meredith Whittaker

University of California, Berkeley

Co-Founder and Co-Director, AI Now Institute

Whittaker completed her bachelor's degree in Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. Whittaker is a Distinguished Research Scientist at New York University and a core organizer of the Google Walkouts, where she worked for 13 years before resigning in July 2019.

AI Now Institute at NYU is a leading university institute dedicated to researching the social implications of artificial intelligence and related technologies. She started AI Now Institute with Kate Crawford in 2017 after a symposium hosted by the White House.

Marc Benioff

Founder and co-CEO, Salesforce

University of Southern California

Benioff received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, where he was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

While at USC, Benioff had internships as an assembly language programmer at the Macintosh division of Apple. He expected to continue programming after college, but was advised by USC professors to obtain ‘customer-oriented’ work experience. He decided to join Oracle after graduation in a customer-service role.He was at Oracle for 13 years in a variety of executive positions in sales, marketing, and product development. At just 23, he was named Oracle's Rookie of the Year and three years later, he was promoted to vice president, the company's youngest person to hold that title. He founded Salesforce in 1999 in a SAn Francisco apartment and defined its mission as “The End of Software”.

Stewart Butterfield

University of Victoria, University of Cambridge

Founder, Slack & co-founder, Flickr

Canadian businessman, Butterfield founded not one but two tech companies. Butterfield studied St. Michaels University School in Victoria, British Columbia where he received a B.A. degree in philosophy in 1996. Butterfield went on to earn a Master of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge in 1998, where he specialized in the philosophy of biology, cognitive science, and the philosophy of mind.

In August 2013, Butterfield announced the release of Slack, an instant-message-based team communication tool. The tool grew at a weekly rate of 5-10%, with more than 120,000 daily users registered in the first week of August 2014.


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