Parag Agrawal, the CEO of Twitter, has joined the rising power club of Indian-origin CEOs helming US-based global businesses. Twitter’s departing CEO Dorsey revealed on Monday that Agrawal, a 37-year-old IIT Mumbai and Stanford University alumni, will be the company’s new CEO, as he stepped down after 16 years at the head of the business he co-founded and led. However, not only Agrawal but over a dozen Indian-origin and Indian-born CEOs, are at the head of global companies. Let’s have a look at the top firms where Indian-origin persons now hold the top positions.
Alphabet – Sundar Pichai
Sundar Pichai was designated Google’s CEO in 2015. Following that, in 2019, he was chosen CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. After a brief stint at McKinsey, Sundar joined Google in 2004. He worked on projects such as Google Toolbar and the development of Chrome, Google’s browser. In 2012, he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Product Development. Two years later, he was Google’s Product Chief for the Android smartphone operating system. Pichai’s favourite project, the legendary ‘Android One,’ was introduced in September 2014.
Microsoft – Satya Nadella
Satyanarayan Nadella (Satya Nadella) took over as CEO of Microsoft in 2014, succeeding Steve Ballmer. Nadella has been at Microsoft since 1992, following a brief stay at Sun Microsystems. Satya has managed important initiatives at Microsoft that resulted in the corporation entering into cloud computing and assisting in the construction of one of the largest cloud infrastructures. Bukkapuram Nadella Yugandhar, Nadella’s father, was an Indian Administrative Service officer from the 1962 batch.
IBM – Arvind Krishna
Arvind Krishna has been the CEO of IBM since April 2020, and he was named Chairman in January 2021. Krishna joined IBM in 1990 and rose through the ranks to Senior Vice President in 2015, overseeing the IBM Cloud & Cognitive Software and IBM Research departments. Krishna was born in Andhra Pradesh to an army officer father. Arvind Krishna will take over as CEO of IBM in April 2020. He began his career at IBM in 1990. Arvind oversaw IBM’s largest acquisition, Red Hat, for $34 billion.
Adobe – Shantanu Narayen
Adobe’s CEO since 2007 has been Shantanu Narayen. He joined the business in 1998 as Senior Vice President of Global Product Development, a post he held until 2001. He was executive VP of worldwide products until 2005, when he was named COO and, in 2007, CEO of Adobe. From 1989 through 1995, he held senior managerial positions at Apple.
Palo Alto Networks- Nikesh Arora
Since June 1, 2018, Nikesh Arora, an Indian-American CEO, has led Palo Alto Networks, an American multinational cybersecurity business. Arora, a former Google employee, was president of SoftBank Group from October 2014 until June 2016. Arora, who was born to an Indian Air Force officer, earned his B.Tech from IIT BHU in Varanasi. In the year 2000, Arora founded T-Motion PLC, a firm that used to supply value-added services to Deutsche Telekom’s 3G Services. T-Motion PLC merged with Deutsche Telekom in 2002.
Mastercard – Ajaypal Singh Banga
Ajay Banga, the son of former Indian Lieutenant General Harbhajan Singh Banga, has been a Mastercard pioneer since the 1990s. Following his tenure as President and COO, Ajaypal Singh Banga was named CEO in April 2010. Banga, the former head of the United States-India Business Council (USIBC), is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and Delhi University.
Arista Networks – Jayshree Ullal
Jayshree Ullal is an American millionaire entrepreneur who was born in London and reared in New Delhi. She has been the CEO of Arista Networks since 2008. She earned a master’s degree in Engineering Management from Santa Clara University after graduating from San Francisco State University. In 2010, Forbes magazine called her one of the top five most important persons in the networking sector.
Nokia Inc. – Rajeev Suri
Rajeev Suri, who was born in New Delhi and reared in Kuwait, has been the CEO of Nokia Inc. since April 2014. After working for a company with operations in India and Nigeria, Suri’s dedication led him to Nokia in 1995, where he has been at the top of his game ever since. Suri is a Singaporean citizen who lives in Finland and is a graduate of the Manipal Institute of Technology.
NetApp – George Curian
George Curian became Chairman and CEO of NetApp in June 2015, after working in a variety of capacities at firms such as Akamai Technologies and Oracle. Born in the Kerala state of Kottayam, he studied engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras before leaving six months later to attend Princeton University, where he earned his MBA.
Harman International – Dinesh C. Paliwal
Dinesh Paliwal is the CEO of Harman International and a member of the Nestle board of directors, having lived and worked in Australia, China, India, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States. Paliwal earned an MBA in Finance from Miami University in Ohio after earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Management, Roorkee. Paliwal was named Ernst & Young’s Metro New York Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010 and Fortune Magazine’s Businessman of the Year in 2014.
Micron Technology – Sanjay Mehrotra
Mehrotra is a pioneer in the non-volatile semiconductor memory business, with 30 years of expertise. Mehrotra was named Micron Technology’s new CEO in February 2017 after co-founding SanDisk in 1988 and serving as its President and CEO until 2016. He is a BITS Pilani alumnus with a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences from Delhi.
Reckitt Benckiser – Laxman Narasimhan
Laxman Narasimhan took over as CEO of Reckitt Benckiser in September 2019 after serving as Chief Commercial Officer at PepsiCo. Laxman received his engineering degree from Pune and then went on to get an MA from The Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from The Wharton School. He is a bilingual orator who can talk in up to six languages.