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{Disarmed} What the leaders of the world s leading technology companies have studied

What the leaders of the world's leading technology companies have studied

A young self-made entrepreneur who builds his tech empire in his parents' garage. This is the romantic image of a technological leader that many of us have on our retina, but how much truth is there in it? To find out, we are going to review what the current leaders of the world's leading technology companies have studied.

A spoiler to give you the idea is that many of them have studied at some of the best universities in the world , although not all of them, and that gives us a good variety. Indeed we have the classic boy in the garage of his house, but also a banker who reinvents himself 27 years later.

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Larry Page from Alphabet

Larry Page

Larry Page was born in March 1973 in East Lansing, Michigan in the United States. His parents were teachers of programming and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at various universities, and when he was only two years old, they took him to a school in Lansing where the Montessori method was applied.

Following in his parents' footsteps, he attended East Lansing High School until 1991, graduating with honors from Michigan State University, earning a degree in Computer Engineering . He subsequently obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University, where he met Sergey Brin.

At Stanford Page he began a thesis on the analysis of link structure , and during his research he designed a hierarchical organization system in which the pages with more inbound links ranked higher. Sergey Brin joined the project, and ended up appearing as a co-author in the final document of 98, called The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine , where they presented a search engine prototype called Google ... of which he was CEO until create parent company Aphablet .

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Elon Musk, from SpaceX, Tesla, Boring Company, etc ...

Elon musk

Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1971. At age 10 he bought his first computer and learned to program on his own. At age 17, he was accepted to Queen's University in Kingston, Canada, where he received a bachelor's degree. After two years there, in 1992 he received a scholarship to study at the University of Pennsylvania, in the United States, where he graduated first in Business Administration and a year later in Physics.

At that university, one of his professors was the director of Pinnacle Research, an electric vehicle company where Musk worked for a whole summer. Finally, at age 24 in 1995, he moved to California and enrolled for a doctorate in Applied Physics and Materials Science at Stanford University, which he dropped out after two days.

The reason for his abandonment was to create his first company with his brother and a friend, Zip2, which was bought by Compaq in February 99. With the money obtained he founded the financial service X.com , which after merging with Confinity created the PayPal payment system . When PayPal was bought by eBay in October 2002, Musk used the money to found SpaceX , and he hasn't stopped founding companies ever since.

Susan Wojcicki, YouTube

Susan Wojcicki

Susan Diane Wojcicki was born in July 1968 in Santa Clara, California in the United States, and is the daughter of a professor of Russian descent and a Polish-American professor of physics at Stanford University. Growing up in the Stanford area, he earned a BA in History and Literature and at Harvard University in 1990.

He continued his studies, finishing Economics in 1993 at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Business at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1998 . At the end of this last degree, he returned to Silicon Valley in that same 1998, where he rented a garage space in his house in Menlo Park to the recently created company Google Inc, which briefly used it as its first headquarters.

He started working at Google on the initial viral marketing programs, as well as the first sketches of the search engine. He also participated in the development of products of the caliber of Google Images or Google Books. At Google he grew to become Senior Vice President of Advertising and Commerce and head of advertising and analytics products, including AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick and Google Analytics. She continued her career until in 2014 she was named CEO of YouTube .

Satya Nadella, Microsoft

Satya nadella

Satya Nadella was born in 1967, and as a child she attended the public school in Hyderabab, the city where she was born. When he finished, he began studying Electronic Engineering and Communications at the University of Manipal, where he graduated in 1988.

Then he gave the sato to the United States, specifically to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he obtained a Master's degree in Computer Science in 1990. Nadella wanted to excel in the corporate world, so he later went to one of the best business schools of the world, the 'Booth School of Business' affiliated with the' University of Chicago, where he obtained his Master of Business Administration (MBA).

When he finished his studies, he began his meteoric professional career , first as a technical engineer at the Sun Microsystem computer company, and joining Microsoft in 1992 . There he worked as Senior Vice President of Research and Development (R&D) for the Online Services Division and Vice President of the Microsoft Business Division, growing to become the company's top manager in 2014.

Jeff Bezos from Amazon

Jeff bezos

Jeff Bezos was born in January 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a child he showed interest in how things work , turning his parents' garage into a test bed in which to gut electrical devices. As a teenager they moved to Miamo, where he graduated valedictoriannoun (with the highest marks) from high school . And it was in high school that he started his first business, a summer camp called the Dream Institute.

He continued his studies at Princeton University, where in 1986 he graduated cum laude in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering . After graduating, he began his professional career in several Wall Street companies, until in 1994 he decided to start his own path by founding an online bookstore called Cadabra.com.

The work began in the most romantic way possible, in the garage of his house with several employees . There they began to develop the software for their online store, and after buying a two-room house as new offices they began with the first tests. After inviting 300 friends for the betas, Bezos officially opened his online store on July 16, 1995, and a few months later he renamed it Amazon.com, reaping a success that places him as one of the richest men in the world .

Tim Cook of Apple

Tim cook

Tim Cook was born in November 1960 in Robertsdale, Alabama in the United States. His first studies were carried out at the University of Alabama, where he was the second of his class . He then went to Auburn University, where he graduated in 1985 with a specialty in Industrial Engineering .

It was when he finished there that he went to the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, where in 1988 he got his Master of Business Administration . After finishing his studies, he was hired by IBM, where he worked for 12 years and climbing positions until he became director of operations of the company in North America and Latin America.

After those twelve years at IBM, he was working in different positions of responsibility in companies such as Intelligent Electronics and Compaq. After six months in the latter Steve Jobs hired him to join Apple in early 1998 . At Apple he was climbing positions until Steve Jobs proposed him as his successor on August 24, 2011.

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg was born in 1984 in White Plains, New York in the United States. During his youth he studied first at Ardsley College, and later at Philips Exeter Academy. His first success in the software world was when he was 18 years old , in 2002, creating a program called Synapse Media Player. He was able to play songs based on preferences and previous choices, and after rejecting offers from Apple or Microsoft, he ended up distributing his program for free on the web.

In 2003 he entered Harvard , Conde continued to develop software, although this time more aimed at bringing people together. He created a program called Coursematch in which you could see the list of your classmates, and shortly after a website called Facemash.com in which to rate university students.

Zuckerberg was accused by Facemash at Harvard of violating privacy policies. In 2004 Zuckerberg returned to the fray with another website that was intended to be a meeting point for Harvard students. It was called Facebook , and after its creation Zuckerberg took a year off from university until he dropped out of his degree a year later. Twelve years later and already a billionaire "he finished his studies" by receiving an honorary degree from Harvard.

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Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook

Sheryl sandberg

The current chief operating officer of Facebook was born in August 1969. Sheryl Sandberg attended school at North Miami Beach High School, where she was almost always considered the top of the class, and managed to graduate with a high note. In 1987 he went to Harvard University, where he ** graduated cum laude in Economics in 1991 **. He also got an award reserved for the most outstanding students in economics. In 1993 he continued at Harvard, where he obtained a Master of Financial Management (MBA) with the highest distinction.

After working as a consultant for a year, between 1996 and 2001 she went to work for Bill Clinton's Secretary of the Treasury. There, at the Treasury, he was in charge of debt cancellation projects for developing countries . In November 2000, she moved to Silicon Valley, where she joined Google as vice president of online sales and operations.

At the end of 2007, she met Mark Zuckerberg at a Christmas party, and although he was not looking for anyone, he decided she was perfect to work as Director of Operations. Her hiring was announced in March 2008, and she was responsible for starting Facebook profitable.

Bob Swan, CEO of Intel

Bob swan

Robert Holmes Swan was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1960. At age 18, in 1978, he graduated from Corcoran High School. From there he went to the University at Buffalo, where in 1983 he graduated in business administration, and obtained a Master of Business Administration from Binghamton University in 1985

Known simply as Bobn Swan, he has been the CEO of Intel since January 2019, a position in which he was interim since January 2018. He came to the company as CFO in 2016 from General Atlantic, although he had previously been the director from companies such as eBay, Electronic Data Systems, and TRW Inc.

Lisa Su, CEO of AMD

Amd Ceo Lisa Su 20150603

The current CEO of AMD was born in Tainan, Taiwan, in November 1969, although at the age of 3 she emigrated to the United States with her parents. Her father was a retired statistician, who since she and her brother were young encouraged them to study math and science. In fact, when he was only seven years old, his father already began to teach him the multiplication tables. Her mother was an accountant and entrepreneur, and between them they made Su want to be an engineer since she was a child.

He studied at the Bronx High School of Science in New York City, graduating in 1986. That same year he began studying electrical engineering at MIT, and in his first year he began working as an undergraduate research assistant manufacturing wafers. silicon test for more advanced students, which sparked her interest in semiconductors.

After obtaining his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, he obtained his master's degree from MIT in 1991. Between 1990 and 1994 he was studying his doctorate with Dimitri Antoniadis, an MIT advisor who was among the first to investigate silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology, to increase the efficiency of the transistors. He graduated with a doctorate in electrical engineering in 1994 .

When she finished her studies, Su started working at IBM, where she stayed until 2007 when she joined Freescale Semiconductor as CTO. In 2012 he joined AMD, where in just 2 years he reached the position of CEO. In 2015, Su and other company executives laid out a long-term strategy to focus on developing high-performance technology in the video games, data centers and immersive platforms industries, and since then AMD has not stopped growing.

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Meg Whitman, de Quibi (and former HP)

Meg whitman

Meg Whitman was born in August 1956 in Cold Spring Harbor, United States. He began to demonstrate his intelligence at an early age, and in 1974 he graduated from high school after just three years. After achieving this, he enrolled at Princeton University, where he obtained a BA in economics .

He did not leave his studies there, and upon graduation he entered the MBA program, a "generalist" program that prepares him to assume positions of responsibility in companies, at Harvard Business School, graduating in 1979. When he finished he moved to Cincinnati to work as manager of 'Proctor & Gamble', where he began to specialize in marketing and the business world, eventually working with Steve Ballmer, the future CEO of Microsoft.

From 1989 to 1992 she worked at the Walt Disney Company as Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Consumer Products Division, and from 1995 to 1997 she was President and CEO of Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD). In March 1998, he joined eBay when it only had 30 employees, but in the meantime he had time to turn down the CEO position at Disney.

In January 2011, she joined the Hewlett Packard Board of Directors and on September 22 of the same year, she was named CEO . After splitting the company in two in 2015, HPInc and HP Enterprise (HPE), she left her board of directors in July 2017, and has been sounding like a candidate to be the next CEO of Uber ever since.

Lei Jun, from Xiaomi

Lei Jun

Lei Jun was born in December 69 in Xiantao, Hubei in China. He earned his BS in Computer Science from Wuhan University in 1991, and during that period he read a book about Steve Jobs and began to consider trying to be like him one day. Upon completion of his studies, he worked at Kingsoft since 1992, where he became President and CEO in 1998.

While serving as CEO of that company, he founded the online bookstore Joyo.com in 2000 , and in just four years the business grew so much that it was bought by Amazon in 2004 for $ 75 million. But Jun had a dream of founding a large mobile company, and after resigning from being the CEO of Kingsoft in 2007, three years later, in 2010, he founded a new company called Xiaomi .

Pável Dúrov, from Telegram and Vk.com

Pavel Durov

Pavel Durov was born in Saint Petersburg in October 1984, although his childhood was spent in Turin , Italy. There he began his studies at a local primary school, and after returning to Russia in 2001 he continued them at the Academy Gymnasium in Saint Petersburg .

When he finished, he entered the philological department of the Saint Petersburg State University with the idea of ​​becoming a translator. While he was studying, he created an online bookstore so that his classmates could share books and notes, a tool that became popular throughout the university. While he kept it, he began to focus on it to turn it into a student social network.

Inspired by Facebook Dúrov founded a new social network called VKontakte in November 2006 , which today is the equivalent of Facebook in Russia in terms of popularity. After refusing a request from the Russian government to block certain pages on his social network, Durov was fired as CEO of VK on April 21, 2014. He claimed that Vladimir Putin's allies had taken over the company. After his dismissal, he focused more on privacy and founded the messaging app Telegram.

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Kazuo Hirai, former CEO of Sony

Kazuo hirai

Kazuo Hirai was born in 1960 in Tokyo, Japan. As a child, he prepared for an international career by studying at the Japanese American School . Then his family spent several years in Toronto, Canada, so between 1973 and 1976 he was receiving classes at Valley Park Middle School .

From his childhood he was always interested in video games, which led to his graduation in August 1984 from the International Christian University of Japan, where he received a degree in Liberal Arts . Right after graduating he was hired by CBS / Sony, now Sony Music Entertainment, where he worked in the international marketing area.

Once his career in the company began, he decided to make the leap to its video games division , and in 1995 he joined Sony Computer Entertainment of America, where he rose to the presidency of the US division in 1999. He continued to climb the ranks within Sony until he was appointed Executive Vice President of Sony Corporation in 2011, and on February 1, 2012, he became the company's new President and CEO until his retirement in 2018.

Ginni Rometty, IBM

Ginni rometty

Virginia Marie "Ginni" Rometty was born in the United States in July 1957. She graduated from the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University in 1979 with high honors, receiving a BA in Computer Science and Engineering. Electrical

After graduating in 1979, he began working at the General Motors Institute, although ** in 1981 he joined IBM as a systems engineer in their Detroit office. She gradually rose within the company, being named Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Strategy in 2009. Her final promotion took place when on October 25, 2011, IBM announced that Ginni would be the next president and CEO of the company.

Nintendo's Tatsumi Kimishima

Tatsumi kimishima

The biography of Tatsumi Kimishima is radically different from the rest of the people we have on the list, since his youth did not point at all to the position he occupies today. He was born in Tokyo in April 1950, and studied his career at the Hitotsubashi University School of Law in the same city.

When he finished his studies, in April 1973 he began to work at the Sanwa Bank of Japan, where he worked for 27 years, being stationed in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Central America and the Caribbean. His life took a radical change in December 2000, when he jumped into the video game industry as president of The Pokemon Company.

In 2001 he was appointed president of Pokémon USA Inc. Before retiring after the launch of the GameCube in 2002, the legendary president of Nintendo, Hiroshi Yamauchi, appointed him president of Nintendo of America, until in May 2006 his position was filled by Reggie Fils-Aime. In April 2013 he became Nintendo's head of human resources, and in September 2015 the company's president and CEO after Iwata's death.

Jack Ma from Alibaba

Jack Ma

Jack Ma was born in September 1964 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. From a young age, he began to learn English on his own , chatting with English-speaking guests at the Hangzhou hotel about a 40-minute bike ride from home. There he acted as an amateur guide , and it was then that he began calling himself Jack to be closer to tourists.

As a young man, he didn't have much of a choice to go to class, and it took him four years to pass the Chinese selectivity exams. After achieving this he graduated from Hangzhou Normal University in 1988, later becoming Professor of English and International Business at Hangzhou Dianzi University. He subsequently enrolled in Beijing Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, graduating in 2006.

He became interested in the world of the Internet in 1995, when he created a company dedicated to designing websites for Chinese companies. His next step was in 1999, when at the age of 35 he launched two pages that served as a link between businesses . One was in English, Alibaba.com, and the other was in Chinese, Alibaba.com.cn. Now he is one of the richest men in Asia.

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Reed Hastings, Netflix

Reed hastings

Reed Hastings was born in October 1960 in Boston, United States. He studied secondary school at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, and when he was about to come of age he began studying Mathematics at Bowdoin College . When he finished he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, after which he taught for two years in Switzerland.

After that time he returned to the United States, where he studied a Master's in Computer Engineering at Stanford University . When he finished his studies, he started working at the Adaptive Technology company, which he left in 1991 to found Pure Software, his first company which was bought. It went public in '95 and was bought by Rational Software two years later.

After founding a few more companies, in 1997 he joined colleague Marc Randolph to found a flat-rate mail-order movie rental company . They named it Netflix. In 2000 Hastings tried to sell his company to Blockbuster, but they did not accept, considering that their niche was too small. In 2007 the company began to allow streaming movies to be played over the Internet, which led to its success .

Marissa Mayer of Yahoo

Marissa mayer

Marissa Mayer was born in May 1975 in Wausau, Wisconsin in the United States. The daughter of an engineer and an art teacher, she demonstrated at an early age her affinity for mathematics and science . While in high school at Wausau West High, he worked at a local grocery store, where he memorized the number codes for the items he sold to streamline the checkout process.

She had always wanted to be a doctor, but upon arriving at Stanford University she developed a passion for computers that led to her earning a Bachelor of Science in Symbolic Systems and a Master of Computer Science , specializing in artificial intelligence. He did research internships at SRI International in Menlo Park, California, and the UBS Research Laboratory in Zurich. When he finished his postgraduate degree, he already had 14 job offers on the table.

She received her 14th job offer from Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and in 1999 she joined Google to become the first woman on their engineering team. There he worked on some of the company's most successful products, such as Google Maps, Google Earth, Street View, Google News, and Gmail. On July 16, 2012, Mayer was named President and CEO of Yahoo !, although she has been unable to do anything to prevent the company from collapsing and being bought by Verizon .

Daniel Ek, Spotify

Daniel Ek

Daniel Ek was born in February 1983 in Stockholm, Sweden. At age 5 he was given a guitar and a Commodore 20, and he became interested in music and technology . He founded his first company in 1997 at the age of 14 , Advertigo, and dedicated himself to creating websites for other companies. Within a few years, he tried to work at Google , and after being rejected for not having a bachelor's degree, he tried unsuccessfully to create an alternative search engine.

After leaving his university studies at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, he worked in several companies in the web sector, and later founded Advertigo, an online marketing company that was acquired in 2006 by TradeDoubler, becoming a millionaire at 23. During that year he was CEO of uTorrent and was part of Tradera, an auction company that eventually acquired eBay.

Also in 2006 he teamed up with TradeDoubler co-founder Martin Lorentzon to create Spotify . Its business model was radical, since it differed from other services by allowing you to listen to music with a free account with ads or with very cheap subscriptions, which made it grow in popularity as it was an inexpensive alternative to P2P downloads.

Sundar Pichai from Google


Sundar Pichai was born in June 1972 in Chennai, South India. It was there that he studied, and graduated in technology from the Indian Institute of Technology , in the city of Kharagpur. He was always one of the students with the best grades, which led to him being awarded the Silver Medal during his graduation in recognition of his merits.

He then decided to leave India, and completed a Master of Science (MS) at Stanford University and a Master of Financial Management (MBA) at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In the latter, he was named Siebel Academician in 2002, recognizing him as one of the best students at the center.

In 2004 Pichai joined Google, where he was involved in the development of multiple products such as Chrome and Chrome OS, and was one of those responsible for the creation of Google Drive. After going on to supervise the development of more tools such as Google Maps or Gmail, in 2013 he also supervised Android, and in 2015 he became CEO of Google.

Corie Barry, Best Buy

Corie barry

Corie Barry was born in Cambridge, Minnesota, in 1975. In 93 she finished high school at Minnesota High School, and in 97 she graduated from St. Benedict University, where she studied accounting and business management . For two years she worked at Deloitte as director of financial and strategic transformation, and in 1999 she was hired by Best Buy, one of the largest technology stores in the world.

At Best Buy, she started as a financial analyst, and over the years has held various leadership roles, including acting president of the Geek Squad and director of strategic growth. In 2016, she became Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Best Buy, and in June 2019 she became CEO of the company.

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Bill Gates, Microsoft


Although he's retired now, we can't finish this list without him. Bill Gates was born in October 1955. The son of a lawyer and a college professor, he studied at the elite Lakeside Private School in Seattle. In 68 there was already a computer there, which allowed him to begin to be interested in computing. There he also met Paul Allen, with whom he created a company called Microsoft in 1975, while still studying at Harvard.

Gates dropped out of college in '76 for Albuquerque, where they worked supplying the MITS company with a series of programs to try to get them used with the first microcomputer, the Altair. A version of Basics had been developed for him. Microsoft began to grow supplying programs adapted to the needs of microcomputers, and in 1979 Gates decided to move Microsoft to Seattle when he saw that it began to grow.

In the 1980s, IBM needed an operating system to compete with Apple, and they agreed to license the QDOS system from a young Tim Paterson. IBM believed that the money was in the hardware, and allowed Microsoft to keep the rights to the software. Microsoft adapted it and called it MS-DOS , Microsoft-DOS. When Apple was developing the Macintosh, Gates managed to agree with Jobs to improve its applications, and in return obtained the license to use the mouse and graphical environment technology. With it he created Microsoft Windows, and the rest is history.

Phebe Novakovic, General Dynamics

Phebe Novakovic

Phebe Novakovic has been CEO of General Dynamics since 2013, one of the biggest giants in the military-industrial field, and one of the few directors in this field. And the most striking thing is that she is a former CIA agent . Born in 1957, in 79 she graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Later, in 1988 he received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Novakovic began working for the CIA in 1997, where she worked for the United States Department of Defense until 2001. In that same 2001, she joined General Dynamics, where she held various positions until she became president and chief operating officer in 2012. , and in 2013 she became the CEO.

The news What the leaders of the world's leading technology companies have studied was originally published in xiaomist.com by Yúbal Fernández .

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