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  • There's one similarity between Amazon and Blue  Origin CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple's Tim Cook, Alphabet's   

  • Sundar Pichai, AMD's Lisa Su, General MotorsMary Barra and NVIDIA's Jensen Huang. These  

  • days, the heads of some of the most successful  companies in the world have one thing in common.

  • They're engineers. For those who aspire to be  CEO of a company one day, getting an MBA - a Master  

  • of Business Administration degree - used to be  the way to go. But that's not so true anymore

  • Harvard Business Review used to publish an annual  list of the top 100 best-performing CEOs. In 2018,  

  • they found that for a second year in a row, there  were more CEOs with an engineering degree than  

  • an MBA. 34 compared to 32. Some had both. Getting an  MBA can come with a hefty price tag. Top graduate  

  • schools such as the University of Pennsylvania's  Wharton or Harvard Business School will set you  

  • back over $200,000. Now, some CEOs are telling you to save your money.  

  • Elon Musk went so far as to say, "I think there  might be too many MBAs running companies" in an  

  • interview with the Wall Street Journal. He thinks  those with business degrees spend too much time  

  • in board meetings pouring over power points and  finances when their focus should be on the product.  

  • The thinking being that if the product is good the  profits will follow. In the case of Musk that means  

  • building great electric cars at Tesla or great  reusable rockets at SpaceX. That's where being  

  • an engineer is helpful. Engineers can design, build, create, and improve their product because of their  

  • background in math, science, and technology. And they  can help solve challenging technical problems that  

  • might otherwise scuttle their dreams. TechnicallyMusk has a degree in physics and economics not  

  • engineering. He's a self-taught engineer who  read books to learn about rocket science.

  • When engineering consultant Sandy Munro interviewed him for his YouTube channel 

  • Munro Live, he said it's Musk's knowledge that  stands out. I was blown away. I've seen dozens  

  • of CEOs. I've never seen a CEO ever or a president  that knew more about the product. That technical  

  • know-how that comes with an engineering background  goes a long way toward building better products.  

  • Just ask Satya Nadella, the engineer  at Microsoft who rose to become CEO.  

  • When he took over the top job in 2014, he had to  figure out a way to make Microsoft relevant as it  

  • faced an onslaught from Apple. We now need to make  Microsoft thrive. The software company struggled to  

  • thrive under the leadership of his predecessor  Steve Ballmer. Its products were far from  

  • revolutionary. The Surface was a response to the  iPad, the Windows phone and answer to the iPhone.  

  • Ballmer has a degree in mathematics and economics  from Harvard which helped balance the books but

  • didn't do much when it comes to innovation. When  Nadella took over, he transformed Microsoft - moving  

  • its software to non-Windows devices. For examplebringing Microsoft Word to the iPad and the iPhone.  

  • He also expanded its cloud business Azure which  has become the biggest rival to Amazon's AWS.  

  • In his first email to employees as CEO, Nadella  wrote: "Our industry does not respect tradition - it  

  • only respects innovation." That innovative spirit  of engineering saved Microsoft. But it's not easy.  

  • It requires risky moves and not accepting failureAs American inventor Thomas Edison famously said

  • "I have not failed. I've only found 10,000 ways that  won't work." James Dyson, the British engineer, knows  

  • a thing or two about not giving up. He became  frustrated when a vacuum he had at home kept  

  • losing suction. So he decided to build a better  vacuum himself. He spent 15 years tinkering with  

  • over 5,000 different prototypes to come up with  the perfect bagless design. I'd like to give  

  • you a little demonstration. The payoff for his  perseverance was a multi-billion dollar company  

  • that bears his name. In order to be successfulDyson was invested in the fine details of his  

  • company. Engineers aren't afraid to get involved in  the day-to-day business - especially when it comes  

  • to hiring. Amazon is notorious for tough interviewsBezos, who has a degree in electrical engineering  

  • and computer science, used to meet every candidate  himself during Amazon's early days. He would ask  

  • quirky questions like: How many gas stations are  there in America? He wasn't after the right answer  

  • but wanted to see whether the candidate had an  analytical approach in order to come up with an  

  • informed response. Bezos once said setting the bar  high for hiring was the most important factor for  

  • the online retailer's success. It's no surprise that  engineers make it to the top of the tech industry  

  • which has seen explosive growth over the yearsBut they're also doing well at non-tech companies.  

  • Like Jeffrey Sprecher, the CEO of the holding  company that owns the New York Stock Exchange.  

  • He has a degree in chemical engineering. I've never  had a job that had anything to do with chemistry  

  • but the discipline that I went through there  taught me about problem-solving and business  

  • is really just that. Engineers are very good at  solving problems and that's the key to doing  

  • everything from building a bridge acrossriver to designing a rocket to get to Mars.

  • If you've been inspired to become an engineer  or simply want to learn more about the world,

  • a good foundation in math and computer science is  crucial. A problem-solving website called Brilliant  

  • can help put you on the path to success. And it's  free to sign up. Whether you want to practice  

  • programming, you're struggling with calculus, or  you're hoping to brush up on your algorithms, my  

  • sponsor Brilliant offers over 60 interactive  courses in math, science, and computer science.  

  • You can learn at your own pace, there are no  exams. If you make mistakes while practicing,  

  • Brilliant explains exactly where you went wrongYou can sign up with the link in my description.  

  • And the first 200 people to use my link will  get 20% off the Premium subscription which  

  • gives you unlimited access to all the courses

  • Thanks for watching Newsthink.

  • I'm Cindy Pom.

There's one similarity between Amazon and Blue  Origin CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple's Tim Cook, Alphabet's   

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Why So Many CEOs Are Engineers

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    Elise Chuang posted on 2021/05/18
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