For decades, the corporate path to the chief executive's office has often passed through engineering. Automotive, computer, electronics, and oil companies have frequently drawn their leaders from the engineering ranks.
Today, the trend continues, and it reaches beyond technology companies. McDonald's Corp., for example, is now led by an engineer. So is Bank of America. According to a 2011 study conducted by consulting firm Spencer Stuart, approximately one third of the top executives in S&P 500 companies were educated as engineers. The same study revealed that only 11% of CEOs received undergraduate degrees in business administration.
We did a little digging and found engineering background information on CEOs of top companies. From GM and Ford to McDonald's and ExxonMobil, we present a few of the corporate world's highest-ranking engineers.
Click on the photo of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella below to start the slideshow and to see who else made this impressive list.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's most prominent characteristic is his energy. After earning a BS in electrical engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology in India, he moved to the US, earned an MS in computer science, went to work for Sun Microsystems, and then launched a career with Microsoft Corp. While at Microsoft, Nadella earned an MBA from the University of Chicago by flying from Redmond, Wash., to Chicago every Friday night, taking classes on Saturday, and flying back for the work week. His mantra to Microsoft team members: "Our industry does not respect tradition -- it only respects innovation."
(Source: Microsoft Corp.)