Meet IIT graduate, richer than highest paid Indian CEO, made Rs 12490 crore fortune from job at...

Nikesh Arora's compensation was higher than other tech executives such as Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg's $24.40 million and Google CEO Sundar Pichai's $8.8 million.

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Meet IIT graduate, richer than highest paid Indian CEO, made Rs 12490 crore fortune from job at...


Leading some of the largest tech companies globally, IIT graduates are making the institution and country proud. One such story is of a man who is an IIT graduate, has landed the second spot on The Wall Street Journal's 2023 list of highest-paid CEOs in the US. Nikesh Arora, an IIT alumnus and the newest member of the billionaires' club, is currently one of the most talked about figures in the business world. According to a list published by The Wall Street Journal, Indian-born Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora is the second-highest-paid leader in the United States. As per TOI's report, Nikesh Arora's net worth is $1.5 billion.  Out of those Indian-origin, 17 were listed in the top 500, with Shantanu Narayen from Adobe standing out at number 11 with a salary of $44.93 million.

Sanjay Malhotra (Micron Technology), Ajei Gopal (Ansys), and Reshma Kewalramani (Vertex Pharmaceuticals) ranked among the top 120 as per the list.

Who is Nikesh Arora?

Nikesh Arora hails from Ghaziabad. He graduated in 1989 from IIT Varanasi. After getting his engineering degree, Arora pursued an MBA in the US. Arora climbed the corporate ladder at Google in a decade-long career, finally moving out of the company in 2014. In 2014 he left Google and made headlines by leading SoftBank in Japan with a record-breaking compensation package. Since 2018, he's been at cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks.

In the last two years, Arora has been rewarded with a total compensation of over $33.5 million as per Palo Alto Networks' financial report. In 2021, Nikesh earned a total of $23.28 million which amounted to around Rs 173.4 crore as per the USD-INR conversion rate average for July 2021, for the FY ending July 2021. In 2022, Nikesh earned $10.40 million, amounting to Rs 82.7 crore on a similar conversion average for July 2022. In total, Nikesh’s compensation exceeded Rs 256.1 crore in the last two years, adding over Rs 35 lakh per day to his wealth in two years. He is among the wealthiest CEOs in the world with a net worth of Rs 8,500 crore as per the latest IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List 2022.

In 2023, Tech giants such as Tesla's Elon Musk and Alphabet's Sundar Pichai also opted for non-traditional compensation structures. Meanwhile, Elon Musk has not received compensation, Sundar Pichai Pichai earned $8.80 million and Mark Zuckerberg of Meta took home $24.40 million, it was reported. 

The report highlighted the achievements of Arvind Krishna (IBM), Badrinarayanan Kothandaraman (Enphase Energy), Sanjiv Lamba (Linde), among other Indian-descent leaders.

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