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Europe’s top CEOs are MBAs

European MBA programmes have been increasingly successful in supplying the corporate world with CEOs. Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain have relied on MBA expertise in the past to build up their boards.


Picture: denisismagilov/ fotolia

A recent article in Business Because has accumulated an interesting list of Europe’s corporate elite and which MBA programme they have attended. The results showed that Insead, HEC Paris and Iese Business School in Spain did particularly well in producing Europe’s corporate elite.

Insead, an international business school with campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, has produced twelve CEOs of leading public European companies. Among these are António Horta-Osório of UK lender Lloyd’s Banking Group, Gonzalo Gortázar of Spanish bank CaixaBank, Helge Lund of oil major BG Group, and Tidjane Thiam of the UK insurer Prudential, who moves to Swiss bank Credit Suisse this year according to Business Because. Insead’s MBA graduates have also produced nine CEOs in the Fortune 500.

Spanish business school Iese has four alumni leading big companies in Spain and one UK-listed company. Another two major companies are led by CEOs from Spanish IE Business School. French business school HEC Paris has produced two CEOs, one of them is Pascal Soriot, the chief executive of UK based pharmaceuticals corporation AstraZeneca. And Italy’s Bocconi University has delivered Atlantia’s CEO as well as Pirelli’s. UK’s business schools Cass and Cranfield have been successful in producing corporate leaders but some credit has to be given to leading US-American schools Harvard Business School, Wharton and Chicago Booth as well whose alumni lead some of Europe’s biggest companies like José Antonio Álvarez, who leads Spain’s bank Banco Santander, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, and John Watson at Chevron.

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