U-M Among Top 10 Schools for Tech CEOs


With ties to several top executives running technology companies, the University of Michigan ranked No. 4 in a recent survey by Bloomberg of Top 10 Colleges for Tech CEOs.

“The main campus in Ann Arbor is a lot closer to the Motor City than Silicon Valley, but the Wolverines have had a big appetite for running tech companies,” Bloomberg noted in its rankings.

In determining the list, Bloomberg reviewed the alma maters of 250 CEOs of U.S. tech companies with a market value of more than $1 billion.

The top executives who are U-M alumni are Eric Lefkofsky, who recently took over as CEO of Groupon and Paul Rooke who runs printer maker Lexmark. Steve Singh, who operates the travel expense company Concur Technologies; and Bobby Kotick of Activision Blizzard, also went to Michigan but didn’t stay until graduation. 

“We have embraced the code of teaching entrepreneurship to our students,” says U-M spokesman Rick Fitzgerald. “We have more than 100 classes across the universities’ business, engineering and medical programs and have just added master’s degree in entrepreneurship.”

Tied with the U-M in the Bloomberg rankings was the University of California, Berkeley. The California school counts a half-dozen graduates as CEOs of U.S. tech companies, including Alters’s John Daane; Selina Yo of Ruckus Wireless; SanDisk CEO Sanjay Mehrotra; and Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs.

Princeton University took the No. 1 spot, naming CEOs such as Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman and Pandora Media’s Joe Kennedy as well as Acxiom’s Scott Howe and Tom Leighton of Akamai Technologies among its graduates.

Harvard University ranked No. 2, tied with Sanford University. Marquette University in Milwaukee was No. 6, listing Ralph Quinsey, CEO of TriQuint Semiconductor, which builds components for electronics makers including Apple.

Four schools tied for the No. 7 spot, including: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rice University in Huston, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and the University of Texas, Austin.