People take various paths to get to the CEO chair, resulting from a mix of education, experience, and other factors. CEO.com recently published the following infographic – The Long Road to Becoming CEO – that sketches the demographics of S&P 500 and Fortune 500 CEOs. The variety of study and experience depicted speaks to the uniqueness of the CEO role: As I’ve mentioned before, the CEO position is so different that few people are prepared for it, no matter how well they’ve performed in other executive roles. I started this blog to help CEOs address this challenge.
One interesting fact to me as a former engineer is that the most common field of study for S&P 500 CEOs is engineering at 20% (yet the most common functions they come from are finance, operations, marketing, and sales). I recently discussed key considerations for engineers who want to become founders and CEOs.