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The Top Ten "Leadership Factories"

November 11, 2008

A study commissioned and reported by USA Today revealed that one in every five CEOs running publicly traded corporations with a market value of at least $2 billion once worked for one of just 20 companies. One in 10 CEOs worked at one of just eight companies.

The results took into account the total number of employees at these companies. So for example, while GE seems to churn out a large number of corporate chiefs (26), it has a pool of 300,000 employees, while McKinsey (16 CEO alumni) has only 11,000.

 

Here are the top ten CEO factories, as reported by the study:
  1. McKinsey
  2. Deloitte & Touche
  3. Baxter International
  4. Pricewaterhouse Coopers
  5. Ernst & Young
  6. Merrill Lynch
  7. Motorola
  8. Intel
  9. Procter & Gamble
  10. General Electric
Looks like professional services firms–in accounting and consulting–are a good breeding ground for future leaders. I would attribute this not only to these companies' excellent training programs, but also to the access that consultants get to the senior execs of client organizations. And as we know, the ability to make contact–and make an impression–with senior execs is one of the best ways to advance your career.

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Lee Demby

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Lee Demby