nikesh arora
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Nikesh Arora

IIT graduates are making the country and institution proud all over the globe by leading a few of the biggest tech companies in the world. A ‘rare’ IIT graduate has not made it to the headline in the first week of 2024. IIT graduate Nikesh Arora is one of the most talked about people in Business world right now as he is the newest big tech leader to join the billionaires’ club. Nikesh Arora feat is quite rare as there are only a few non-founder billionaire tech chief executives in the world. Nikesh Arora is currently the CEO of cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks which has a market cap of more than 91 billion dollars. Although Nikesh has been associated with American companies for a long time now, his roots are in India.

Nikesh Arora was born in Ghaziabad near Delhi. His father was an Indian Air Force officer and he completed his schooling at The Air Force School. After his schooling, Nikesh moved to Varanasi for his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), BHU. After his graduation, he moved to the US to study at Boston University. He also has an MBA from Northeastern University. He has held the CFA designation since 1999.

He initiated his professional journey at Fidelity Investments in 1992, where he took on several roles in finance and technology management. His tenure culminated in the role of Vice President of Finance at Fidelity Technologies. He also worked at T-Motion for a few years before joining Google.


Over the years, he held various positions at Google and resigned from the post of senior vice president and chief business officer in 2014. During his time at Google, he received a compensation package valued at approximately 51 million dollars in 2012, and by the time of his departure, he had been awarded stocks valued at a minimum of 200 million dollars.

In 2014, he moved to SoftBank Group, securing an impressive first-year compensation package of 135 million dollars. Serving as the President and Chief Operating Officer of SoftBank Group from 2014 to 2016, Arora’s total compensation exceeded 200 million dollars, setting a record in Japan for executive remuneration at the time.

On June 1, 2018, Arora took on the role of CEO and chairman at Palo Alto Networks. He had received a 125 million dollars stock and options compensation package from Palo Alto when he was hired in 2018.

Since then, the company’s share price has more than quadrupled and Arora’s stake is now worth 830 million dollars ($1.1 billion Singapore dollars), reports Bloomberg. If we combine the pay awards Arora received in his career, his net worth stands at 1.5 billion dollars (Rs 12495 crore), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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