Finance Stories

The versatile story of CFA Nikesh Arora

In this edition of Jobaaj stories, we bring to you CFA Nikesh Arora. A man of culture, hard work, and dedication. With a rich academic background and a penchant for both technology and finance, the versatility of his knowledge base and his skill set is incomparable. (Basically the kind of guy most other guys hate!)

Primarily an Indian-American business executive, he is most famously known for being the CEO and chairman of Palo Alto Networks, which is an American multinational cybersecurity firm headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

Though he wears the tag of being a chartered financial analyst, his academic venture actually started out in the engineering field with his bachelor’s degree completed from IIT BHU in electrical engineering. 

The IITian tag is enough to make someone formidable in the Indian corporate world but the fact that amplifies his academic grandiose is that he also holds a degree from Boston College and was formerly a senior executive at Google.

The journey of becoming an academic prodigy

Nikesh completed his schooling at the Air force school. Belonging to an Air force family, he had at a very young age embraced discipline and hard work as his life goals.

He then went on to attain a Btech degree in electrical engineering from IIT BHU in 1989. Consequently, he also bagged a degree from Boston College and an MBA in marketing from Northeastern University.

He was awarded his CFA designation in 1994 along with a master’s degree in Finance.

Certainly, the word prodigy is awarded accurately enough because having a Btech degree from an IIT and grabbing Master’s degrees in both finance and marketing is nothing short of incredible.

Take your first step in the stock market.

The career flow of CFA Nikesh Arora

As is the general tendency of a typical engineer fresher, Nikesh joined Wipro after graduating from IIT BHU, but he worked there only for a short time period. After that, he left for his higher education. (also a general tendency of a typical engineer fresher)

After the successful completion of his master’s degree in Marketing, he joined Fidelity investments as an analyst. Along with this job, he also applied for another master’s degree in Finance and juggled his job with his college studies.

After the degree, he left Fidelity investment after being handsomely promoted throughout his tenure there. He went on to work at many such companies such as Putnam Investments, Deutsche Telekom, etc.

The major milestones of Nikesh’s career

  • Establishing T-motion PLC

In 2000, Nikesh founded the T-motion PLC. The company was established with the primary aim of providing services exclusively to the newly launched 3G products of Deutsche Telecom. Subsequently, though, the two companies merged in 2002.

  • Joining Google

Nikesh joined Google in 2004 when the company was relatively young and he played a vital role in expanding the company in the European and middle eastern countries. He held multiple senior leadership roles at Google.

It was in 2014 that he finally resigned from the company from the positions of Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer.

  • Joining SoftBank

The resignation from Google was followed by incorporation in SoftBank, a Japanese MNC. He soon took command as the President and Chief Operating Officer in the company and initiated some major investing decisions which bought back heavy returns for the firm. In fact, for his contributions, he received an incredibly handsome compensation which made him the world’s highest-paid executive of that time.

  • Final ascension to the Palo Alto Networks

CFA Nikesh Arora resigned from SoftBank after reaching the precipice of professional acumen there and so he joined Palo Alto Networks in June 2018. 

Currently, he serves as the CEO and chairman of the company.

Under his command, Palo Alto made some major acquisitions and was even featured in the Forbes digital 100 as the 8th most powerful digital company in the world. 

And he has never looked back since!

This fantastic thing was brought to you by Jobaaj stories in association with

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