Business Schools That Trained Fortune 500 CEOs


See the MBA programs of Fortune 500 CEOs.

An MBA degree is a popular steppingstone to a lucrative job as a business executive. So it probably comes as no surprise that ambitious people often apply to a graduate business school with the hope that, if they are admitted to an MBA program, they can progress faster in their career. If you’re an MBA applicant looking for inspiration, you may find it in the stories of Fortune 500 CEOs with MBA degrees. Read on to discover the different business schools that enrolled some of the future Fortune 500 leaders, listed here in alphabetical order by surname.

Richard C. Adkerson, chair and CEO of Freeport-McMoRan Inc.

B-school where he earned his MBA degree: Mississippi State University College of Business

U.S. News businessschool rank: 92 (tie)

Adkerson joined the Freeport-McMoRan mining company in 1989, and previously was partner and managing director at Arthur Andersen, where he led the firm’s oil and gas industry practice. Institutional Investor magazine identified him as the “Best CEO in Metals and Mining” for 10 years. In 2011, he received “Executive of the Year” recognition from the W.P. Carey School of Business Dean’s Council at Arizona State University.

Mary T. Barra, chair and CEO of General Motors Co.

B-school where she earned her MBA degree: Stanford Graduate School of Business in California

U.S. News businessschool rank: 1

Barra, the first female CEO of the iconic car company General Motors, began working for GM at the age of 18, when she was trying to raise money to pay for college. After earning her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Kettering University, a school that was then known as the General Motors Institute, Barra went on to earn her MBA from Stanford.

Marc Bitzer, chair and CEO of Whirlpool Corp.

B-school where he earned his MBA degree: St. Gallen Graduate School of Business, Economics and Law in Switzerland

U.S. News businessschool rank: Not applicable (The school is based outside the U.S.)

Before working for Whirlpool, Bitzer spent eight years as a management consultant for the prestigious Boston Consulting Group in Toronto and Munich. He started at Whirlpool in 1999 as a vice president within its European division, eventually becoming president of its North America branch and president of U.S. operations. Then he was given responsibility as vice chairman for overseeing the company’s work in multiple regions, including North America, the Middle East and Africa.

Gail Boudreaux, president and CEO of Anthem Inc.

B-school where she earned her MBA:Columbia Business School in New York City

U.S. News businessschool rank: 7 (tie)

Prior to becoming a leader in the health care sector, Boudreaux earned two degrees from Ivy League schools, including a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and an MBA from Columbia University. In addition to those academic accolades, Boudreaux distinguished herself in athletics. She played for Dartmouth’s basketball team during an era when the team won three Ivy League basketball championships. She was recognized as an Ivy League Player of the Year three times, and in 2017 the Ivy League honored her and 15 other distinguished alumni athletes with its “Legends of Ivy League Basketball” award.

Bruce D. Broussard, president and CEO of Humana Inc.

B-school where he earned his MBA degree: C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston

U.S. News businessschool rank: 97 (tie)

Before becoming an insurance company leader, Broussard had executive positions in a wide range of health care businesses, ranging from pharmaceutical companies to surgical centers to dental networks. Prior to joining Humana, he was the CEO of McKesson Specialty/US Oncology Inc., the result of a health care services and information technology company acquiring a network of community-based oncologists.

David B. Burritt, president and CEO of United States Steel Corp.

B-school where he earned his MBA degree: University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign College of Business

U.S. News businessschool rank: Unranked

Since May 2017, Burritt has headed U.S. Steel, a firm that supplies manufacturers with the steel components necessary to build machines such as household appliances, automobiles and farming equipment. He began working for the corporation in 2013 as executive vice president and chief financial officer. He previously worked for Caterpillar Inc., a construction equipment manufacturer, as chief financial officer.

André Calantzopoulos, CEO of Philip Morris International

B-school where he earned his MBA degree: INSEAD Business School in France

U.S. News businessschool rank: Not applicable (The school is based outside the U.S.)

Calantzopoulos began working for the Philip Morris tobacco company in 1985, holding leadership positions in Central and Eastern Europe. He was born and raised in Greece and has expressed optimism about the long-term economic prospects of his homeland. Under the leadership of Calantzopoulos, who has a degree in electrical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Philip Morris is designing smoke-free nicotine delivery technology.

Andrew Cecere, chair, president and CEO of U.S. Bancorp

B-school where he earned his MBA degree: Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities

U.S. News businessschool rank: 28 (tie)

Cecere is the child of Italian immigrants, and his family ran a restaurant in St. Paul, Minnesota. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Before he held his current positions at Bancorp, Cecere served as the corporation’s vice chairman and chief operating officer.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc.

B-school where he earned his MBA: Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in North Carolina

U.S. News businessschool rank: 12

In a 2013 talk at Duke University, Cook said he learned many important lessons at the university’s business school: “What this place teaches you so well is how to learn and how to collaborate; and how to think about something; and how to approach something; and how to work with people who come from a very different point of view and have a different perspective than you do.” The billionaire joined Apple in 1988 and has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University in Alabama.

David M. Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna Corp.

B-school where he earned his MBA degree:Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford in Connecticut

U.S. News business school rank: Unranked

Under Cordani’s leadership since 2009, the Cigna health insurance company has delivered significant financial gains to shareholders and increased its revenues. Outside of his day job, Cordani does a significant amount of philanthropy work, and his family has a foundation that supports health-related charitable causes. He is co-author of “The Courage to Go Forward: The Power of Micro Communities” and has competed in more than 125 triathlons.

Jay Debertin, president and CEO of CHS Inc.

B-school where he earned his MBA degree:Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin–Madison

U.S. News businessschool rank: 42 (tie)

As the head of a global agriculture and energy company, Debertin is focused on optimizing company operations and maximizing financial performance. His childhood was spent in Minnesota’s Red River Valley, which has an abundance of farmland and farmers.

Gary Dickerson, president and CEO of Applied Materials Inc.

B-school where he earned his MBA degree: Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri–Kansas City

U.S. News businessschool rank: Unranked

Dickerson has more than 35 years of experience within the semiconductor industry, and his firm — Applied Materials — devises materials engineering solutions used in computer chips and advanced display systems. Barron’s magazine has identified him as one of the “World’s Best CEOs” several times. In 2018, Harvard Business Review cited Dickerson as one of the “Best-Performing CEOs in the World.” In 2019, Forbes magazine included him on its “America’s Most Innovative Leaders” list.

Jamie Dimon, chair and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

B-school where he earned his MBA:Harvard Business School in Boston

U.S. News businessschool rank: 5 (tie)

Jamie Dimon, a legendary finance and banking executive, grew up in an affluent New York family. His father and grandfather were Wall Street stockbrokers. Dimon was a stellar student, graduating summa cum laude from Tufts University in…


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