Indian Origin CEOs and Top Executives of Global Companies


An increasing number of Indians are heading multinational companies and are joining the elite C-suite club. Be it their international experience, long careers at global companies or prestigious Alma mater these Indians are making a mark at the global level. Let us look at some of the profiles and careers paths of these leaders in top jobs.

Satya Nadella

Hyderabad born Satya Nadella, aged 46 was appointed the CEO of Microsoft on February 4, 2014. He had replaced Steve Balmer to become only the third person to lead Microsoft after it was founded. He defines himself as curious with a thirst for learning.

Career Path – He started his career in Sun Microsystems before he joined Microsoft in 1992 and worked for 22 years in various leadership roles across enterprise and consumer business. He also serves as a director on boards of various companies like BravoSolution US Inc, Nirvaha, Inc. One of his major contribution at Microsoft was delivering “Cloud OS”. He helped the company outperform the competitors by leading the transformation to cloud infrastructure and services business.

Education – Nadella had completed his graduation in Electrical Engineering from Mangalore University. Later he went on to finish his Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He also has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago.

Indra Nooyi

Indra Krishnamoorthy Nooyi, the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of global snacks and beverages giant PepsiCo Inc was born in India in 1956. She plays the role of corporate executive, a wife and a mom to two children with great balance and calm.

Education – Ms. Nooyi graduated from Madras Christian College in India with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Physics and Math. She passed out of the 11th batch of IIM Kolkata with a Master’s Degree in Finance and Marketing. She also pursued a management degree from the prestigious Yale Graduate School of Management in the US.

Career Path – After completing her MBA from IIM Kolkata she worked for two years with Johnson & Johnson and Mettur Beardsell in India. In 1980 she joined the Boston Consulting Group, after six years of her stint there she joined Motorola as the vice-president and director of corporate strategy & planning. She then spent four years at Asea Brown Boveri from 1990 as vice president of corporate strategy & planning. She finally joined PepsiCo in 1994 and made her way up the corporate ladder from senior vice president to CEO in 2006.

Lakshmi Mittal

Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, the Chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker was born in Rajasthan, India in 1950. As of 2014 he has a net worth of $16.7 billion and ranked among the top billionaires in the world. His philanthropic activities help Indian athletes at Olympics through the Mittal Champions Trust to which he contributed US $ 9 million.

Education – Mr. Mittal graduated from St. Xavier’s College in Calcutta where he received a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1969.

Career path – Mittal joined family business at a young age and later started his own steel business in Indonesia. He then acquired mills in Trinidad, Mexico, and Algeria, and turned the enterprises into profit-making plants. In 1995 he made a huge investment in The Temirtau works in Kazakhstan, which had vast ore deposits required for the steelmaking process but was an ailing factory. He bought the company and turned it around. In June 2006, he acquired Arcelor of Luxembourg, Europe’s biggest and the second largest steel company in the world to become the biggest steelmaker in the world.

Rakesh Kapoor

Rakesh Kapoor who was named the CEO of Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc in 2011 was born in India in 1958. He believes in value-led leadership and that strategy and vision are very important to energize and inspire the organization.

Education – He is a holder of Chemical Engineering degree from BITS, Pilani and completed an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur.

Career – Kapoor joined Reckitt & Colman in India in 1987. He played a major role in the acquisition of the Boots Healthcare International in 2006 which transformed RB into a global consumer health care company. He served in various roles including, Regional Sales Manager, North India, General Manager, Indian Southern Region and Regional Marketing Director, South Asia and was responsible for global category management, research & development, media and market research.

Rajeev Suri

Indian-born Rajeev Suri has taken over as the CEO and President of Nokia Corporation on May 1, 2014. He has more than 25 years of international experience and has worked in various roles like strategy and M&A, product marketing, sales, major account leadership, regional and business unit leadership

Education – He has a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics and Communications from Manipal Institute of Technology, Karnataka, India

Career Path – Before he was named CEO, Rajeev was leading Nokia Solutions and Networks, the smaller network equipment unit of Nokia from 2009 to 2014. After his education he started his career as a Production Engineer at Calcom Electronics. Later he handled managerial positions on corporate business development for new ventures and strategic planning at the RPG group and at the Churchgate Group in Nigeria and the ICL group. He joined Nokia in 1995 and held various leadership positions in the company. At Nokia he played key roles in business development, marketing, sales and strategy.

Category: Business 333 1

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