Indian-born CEOs have been a force to be reckoned with on the U.S. tech scene. The ascent of Parag Agrawal as CEO of Twitter is only the latest in a string of nominations of Indian executives to the top position in high-profile U.S. tech companies.
As our chart shows, Twitter is a smaller tech player when it comes to market cap, but the social networks societal influence is undisputed. Agrawal has worked at the company since 2011, most recently as the chief technology officer.
Because of the popularity of technical degrees in India as well as the high-quality education facilities in the country, Indian tech CEOs often have a programming or engineering background, sometimes holding additional MBAs or other business degrees. Parag Agrawal is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai and Stanford University, while Sundar Pichai, CEO of the much larger Google parent Alphabet, went to IIT Kharagpur and Stanford before receiving his MBA from the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania.
Satya Nadella, who presides over the highest-valued company of the bunch – Microsoft, is also an engineer (of MIT Manipal) turned MBA recipient, as is Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, who attended the College of Engineering at Osmania University in Hyderabad, before eventually receiving an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM, stayed on the technical side of things and attended IIT Kanpur before receiving his PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois.
Narayen and Nadella were also named among the top 10 best-performing CEOs in the world by Harvard Business Review in 2019, along with Indian-born Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga and Taiwanese-born Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, who topped the ranking.
Other Indian-born CEOs of U.S. tech companies include Sanjay Mehrotra of memory and storage company Micron ($96b market cap), Nikesh Arora of cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks ($54b market cap), Raghu Raghuram of cloud service provider VMWare ($51b market cap) or Anjali Sud of Vimeo ($3b market cap).