Schools With Most Fortune 500 CEOs

Chevon’s John Watson is the MBA who runs the largest company on the Fortune 500 list. He got his MBA from Chicago Booth.

Harvard Business School has four times as many chief executives of Fortune 500 companies than Stanford and three times as many as Wharton, according to a new study out. The analysis of where the CEOs of the Fortune 500 went to school was done by U.S. News & World Report.

The study found that the MBA was the most popular degree with the corporate elite. Some 200 out of 500 CEOs had an MBA degree on their resumes and 140 more had other graduate degrees among their academic credentials.

Harvard Business School led all B-schools with the most MBAs: 40 in all. Indeed, one in every five Fortune 500 CEOs with an MBA earned it at HBS. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School was next, with 13 CEOs, while Stanford was third, with ten.

Following the big three was the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with 7, including Chevron’s John Watson, who is the MBA who heads up the highest ranked company (No. 3) on the Fortune list. Chicago metro rival Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management is right behind Booth with six Fortune 500 CEOs, tied with Indiana University’s Kelley School with six as well. Then came Columbia Business School and the University of Virginia’s Darden School, each with four Fortune 500 CEO alums.

U.S. News said that MIT, which failed to have a single Fortune 500 chieftain with an MBA, was still third on its list overall among institutions that awarded the most other graduate degrees to the executives, after Harvard and Columbia.

When U.S. News tabulated the results the include undergraduate and all graduate degrees, it found that the 500 executives collectively earned about 465 college degrees. About 35 Fortune 500 executives didn’t graduate from college, including Ralph Lauren and Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson, who both dropped. Still, the Fortune 500 executives who completed both college and graduate school collectively earned about 200 MBAs and about 140 other graduate degrees.

Harvard University topped the list of Fortune 500 CEO degree granters with 65 total degrees, said U.S. News. The next closest school was Stanford University, which doled out 27 undergraduate and graduate degrees. University of Pennsylvania awarded a total of 24 degrees to Fortune 500 CEOs, while the executives on the Fortune list earned 18 degrees from Columbia University.



Schools With Most MBA Alums Atop The Fortune 500

Rank & School Fortune 500 MBA Alums Fortune 500 Other Graduate Alums Fortune 500 Total Alums
  1. Harvard Business School 40 14 65
  2. UPenn (Wharton) 13 4 24
  3. Stanford GSB 10 6 27
  4. Chicago (Booth) 7 NA NA
  5. Northwestern (Kellogg) 6 3 11
  5. Indiana (Kelley) 6 0 11
  7. Michigan (Ross) 5 3 14
  8. Columbia 4 11 18
  8. Virginia (Darden) 4 4 14
10. Cornell (Johnson) 3 2 13
10. Dartmouth (Tuck) 3 0 12
10. Rutgers 3 3 11

Source: U.S. News & World Report analysis of Fortune 500 CEOs



Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.