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Arvind Krishna set to lead IBM; joins list of Indian-origin CEOs

Indian origin Arvind Krishna has been named as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the International Business Machines Corp.

Krishna, 57, will replace longtime CEO Virginia Rometty and take over on April 6 this year. He is currently the head of IBM’s cloud and cognitive software unit and was a principal architect of the company’s purchase of Red Hat, which was completed last year.

With his elevation as IBM’s chief executive, Krishna will join other Indian origin leaders of top companies across the world.

Here’s a list of few global CEOs of Indian origin :

Sundar Pichai (Google)

Chennai-born Pichai Sundararajan worked with management consulting firm McKinsey & Co before joining Google as the head of its product management.

Pichai was part of the team that worked on the Google Toolbar and has also been involved in the development of Google Chrome. He was named CEO in August 2015.

Pichai is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kharagpur where he got his undergraduate degree in engineering and has an advanced degree in material sciences from Stanford University. He earned his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Satya Nadella (Microsoft)

Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 and held many leadership roles in Microsoft’s enterprise and consumer businesses before he was named its CEO in February 2014. He is the technology giant’s third CEO after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, and Microsoft was “the world’s most valuable company” in November 2018 under his guidance.

Before becoming the Microsoft CEO, he was the executive vice-president of its cloud and enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company’s computing platforms.

He was born in Hyderabad and lives in Bellevue, Washington, US. Nadella holds a degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University. He also has postgraduate degrees in computer science from the University of Wisconsin and business administration from the University of Chicago).

Shantanu Narayen (Adobe)

Also from Hyderabad, Narayen is the chairperson, president and CEO of Adobe Inc. He joined Adobe in 1998, became the chief operating officer (COO) in 2005 and CEO two years later.

Narayen has an undergraduate degree in electronics engineering and a master’s degree in computer science from Bowling Green State University, Ohio. He also MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Narayen is also a board member of Pfizer and vice-chairperson of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum. He was listed as one of the world’s best CEOs in 2016 and 2017 by Barron’s magazine. He was awarded a Padma Shri in 2019.

Ajaypal Singh Banga (Mastercard)

Banga succeeded Robert W Selander, who had been CEO since March 1997, in 2010. He has also served as CEO of Citigroup Asia Pacific worked in Nestlé (India) and PepsiCo.

His family is from Punjab’s Jalandhar and he was born in Khadki near Pune. Banga holds a degree in economics from the Delhi University and completed his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.

Banga is also the co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute, a founding trustee of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum and served on a cybersecurity commission under former US president Barack Obama.

He has also served on a committee for cybersecurity under Obama and was a member of the former president’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

Rajeev Suri (Nokia)

Born in New Delhi, Suri became the CEO of the mobile phone manufacturer in May 2014. Before this, he was the CEO of Nokia Solutions and Networks from 2015 and held various positions in Nokia.

He also served as the CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks US LLC and is also a director at Stryker Corp a position he has held since May 2018.

Suri holds an engineering degree from the Manipal Institute of Technology. He was awarded the Marco Polo Award in 2015 and declared Finland’s Business Leader of the Year in 2016.

Jayshree Ullal (Arista Networks)

Ullal is the president and CEO of cloud networking company Arista Networks in Santa Clara, California, since 2008.

Born in London, Ullal was raised in New Delhi and attended San Francisco State University, where she graduated in engineering (electrical). She also has a master’s degree in engineering management from the San Francisco State University.

She was named by the Forbes magazine as “one of the top five most influential people in the networking industry today” for her work at Arista Networks in 2011.

Francisco D’Souza (Cognizant)

D’Souza took over as CEO of the information technology services provider in 2007.

D’Souza, one of the co-founders of Cognizant, also serves as the vice-chairperson of its board of directors. Under his guidance, the company’s revenue grew from $2.1 billion in 2007 to $16.1 billion in 2018.

He was born in Kenya to a diplomat and spent his childhood in nine countries. He has a degree in business administration from the University of Macau and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US.

He was named the “Fortune Businessperson of the Year” in 2017.

Dinesh Paliwal (Harman International)

Paliwal, born in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra, is also the president of Harman International, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd. Paliwal joined the company in 2007.

He studied at the University of Roorkee, now Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, and won a scholarship to study at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, US. There he earned degrees in engineering and management.

Sanjay Mehrotra (Micron Technology)

Mehrotra joined Micron in 2017 and is also president of the company. He was one of the co-founders of SanDisk and served as its CEO and president from 2011 to 2016.

He studied at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science and graduated from the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Program (SEP). He holds degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley.

Ashok Vemuri (Conduent)

Vemuri is the CEO of Conduent, a position he has held since the company was formed in 2017. He is the former president and CEO of iGATE Corporation.

He also worked with Infosys, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America. He was honoured with the “Pride of Andhra Pradesh” award in 2017.

Vemuri has a degree in physics from St Stephen’s College and another in business management from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.

Ivan Menezes (Diageo)

Menezes joined Diageo in 1997 and held several top positions in the organisation before taking over as CEO in 2013.

Born in Pune to Manuel Menezes, a former chairman of the Indian Railway Board, he is also a non-executive director of Coach, an American fashion company.

Menezes went to Delhi’s St Stephen’s College and the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad and the Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Piyush Gupta (DBS)

Piyush Gupta is the current chief executive officer and director of DBS Group, a position he has held since November 2009.

Gupta was born in India and attended St Columba’s High School and has a bachelor’s degree in economics from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University. He is a postgraduate diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

He was named as the Singapore Business Leader of the Year by CNBC in 2014. A year before that, Gupta was named “Best CEO, Asia Pacific” by The Asian Banker, and “Best CEO, Singapore” by Asiamoney and The Business Times.

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