One in every five CEOs running the 1,187 publicly traded corporations with a market value of at least $2 billion have at one time held a job at one of just 20 companies. One in every 10 CEOs worked at one of eight companies. One in 27 have earned a paycheck at one of these two leadership factories: General Electric (GE), with 26 CEO alumni; and IBM (IBM), with 18.
However it is the top management consulting firms — McKinsey, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young and the now-defunct Arthur Andersen — that produce the highest proportion of CEOs given their relatively smaller size (see table below). This is not surprising since these firms hire the most talented business graduates and then give them experience advising firms on how best to manage their companies. Those who gain a reputation for sound business management advice are then sought for top executive positions, including CEOs.
Such career connections create a powerful old boy network of contacts and shared values.
|Deloitte & Touche
|Ernst & Young||103,000||12||1:8,585|
|Procter & Gamble||138,000||12||1:11,500|
|Johnson & Johnson||122,200||8||1:15,275|