How to become a FTSE CEO infographic

The average FTSE 100 and 250 CEO is a 46 year-old male, who attended Oxford or Cambridge University, according to research and analysis into individual CEO background and profile information by QlikTech (NASDAQ:QLIK), a leader in Business Discovery – user-driven Business Intelligence (BI). These are just some of the key findings of Where Do CEOs Come From, an interactive app based on QlikView, a user-centric business intelligence platform.

The app combines a range of background data collated in August 2013 on the current FTSE 100 and 250 CEOs, such as where they were born, where they went to university, the subjects they studied and their previous roles.

Analysis of this data finds that, after economics and business, law was the most popular subject studied at university, with engineering close behind. Further to this, although the Oxbridge institutions came out as the most popular universities, the University of Manchester also hosted 14 FTSE CEOs. Interestingly, eight percent of the FTSE 100 also went to Harvard.

In addition, despite research claiming people who people studied arts degrees are less focused on their careers, when we look into their disciplines, over a quarter (26%) of CEOs studied arts subjects – and only 17% specifically graduated in business. Science was the most popular discipline with 28 percent of CEOs having studied it. However, having an MBA will help individuals on their road to becoming a FTSE CEO as nearly a fifth (18%) of the 100 and 250 Chief Executives have this qualification.

However, close inspection of background data reveals 10 percent of the FTSE 100 and 250 CEOs didn’t attend University at all.

When it comes to previous roles, while 17 percent were previously Managing Directors, a high number (11%) of CEOs had been promoted into the position from a finance role such as Chief Finance Officer or Finance Director. The average tenure of a FTSE 100 and 250 CEO is six years.

The app also shows that, despite the business landscape moving further towards an equal gender, when it comes to Chief Executive Officers, only four percent (14) of those heading up FTSE companies are female.

Delving further into the app has also shown that:

  • 7% of FTSE CEOs were born in the USA
  • 8% of the FTSE 100 went to Harvard
  • 98 CEOs graduated with science disciplines, while 90 are arts graduates and 61 business
  • Physics, finance and geography were also popular topics chosen by current FTSE CEOs in their studies
  • When it came to female CEOs, arts was the most popular degree discipline. Fifty percent of female CEOs took arts subjects, compared with 30% studying sciences.
  • Finance companies dominate the FTSE 100 and 250, with 27% in the industry. This is closely followed by manufacturing, which makes up 20%.

“With this research, we want to make available data easy to analyse for ambitious employees to find out what the ‘key ingredients’ are to become a FTSE 100 or 250 CEO,” said Sean Farrington, RVP Northern Europe and MD UK&I at QlikTech. “The main takeaway has actually been how little the average CEO has changed over the past fifty years. Although the business landscape has moved on significantly from the ‘Mad Men’ boardrooms of the sixties, the FTSE 100 and 250 CEO lists are still surprisingly dominated by males of a certain age and from an Oxbridge background.”

Where Do CEOs Come From is a fully-interactive QlikView application which is available online, via smartphones and tablets. See what you can discover about our FTSE 100 and 250 CEOs at