Forbes recently announced its 2019 America’s Most Innovative Leaders list, with Satya Nadella and Shantanu Narayen among the Indian Americans making the cut.
Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, came in at No. 6 on the list. Forbes notes that the company, led by the Indian American, has had a 13.91 percent sales growth over the past year and a Company Innovation Premium of 31.59.
Nadella replaced billionaire Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO in 2014. Prior to that, Nadella was Microsoft EVP of the cloud and enterprise group. He has steered the company away from a failing mobile strategy and focused on other segments, including cloud computing and augmented reality, Forbes said.
In 2016 he oversaw the purchase of the professional network LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, the magazine added. Since taking over as a CEO, Microsoft's stock has increased by more than 150 percent, it said.
The 52-year-old, in addition to cracking the innovative list, was No. 40 on Forbes’ 2018 Powerful People list.
Narayen, who leads Adobe, was just behind Nadella at No. 7 on the list. His company has seen 23.61 percent sales growth over the past 12 months, and a Company Innovation Premium of 64.43.
Narayen is the chairman, president and CEO of Adobe. He joined the company in 1998 and became its CEO in 2007. Prior to finding success at Adobe, he was a product developer at Apple and co-founded a photo-sharing startup called Pictra.
In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed him to the President's Management Advisory Board. Narayen was born in Hyderabad, India, and came to the U.S. to pursue a master's degree at Bowling Green State University.
In addition to the Microsoft and Adobe leaders in the top 10, MasterCard’s Ajay Banga and Bangladeshi Omar Ishrak of Medtronic were in the top 50, coming in at No. 18 and No. 29, respectively.
Banga’s company has seen a 12-month sales growth of 12.55 percent and a Company Innovation Premium of 46.46.
Born in India, Banga began his career at Nestle and moved on to PepsiCo, where he helped launch its India-based fast food franchises. In mid-2010, he became the CEO and a member of the board of directors of Mastercard, moving up from COO.
In 2015, President Barack Obama appointed him to the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, his bio notes. He graduated from Delhi University and the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.
Meanwhile, Medtronic, according to Forbes, has had 2.02 percent sales growth over the past year, with a Company Innovation Premium of 29.15.
Ishrak has worked as the CEO of the medical technology company Metronic since 2011. He has a bachelor's degree and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Kings College in London. He is on the board of directors of Intel. In August 2019, he announced he would step down from his CEO position in the spring of 2020.
No Indian Americans were in the latter half of the 100-person list.
Topping the list was Amazon head Jeff Bezos and Tesla’s Elon Musk, who tied for the top spot. Rounding out the top 5 were Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff and Netflix’s Reed Hastings.