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Two Indian Americans among top paid U.S. CEOs
ST Team
Thursday, September 4, 2008
India’s brainpower is once again proved as two Indian Americans wheeled to the Forbes list of America’s 15 top-paid young CEOs. The list brings to the limelight the software giant Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen, who stands at the fifth and Francisco D’Souza, the CEO of the outsourcing firm Cognizant, who stands at the 15th.

Striking out the Western competition, Asia has shown tremendous positivism in the list as its Nabeel Gareeb, the Pakistan origin CEO of MEMC Electronics Materials, who has topped the charts with a pay package of $79.5 million in 2007, while Narayen handles a package of $12 million and D’souza, the youngest wunderkind plays with the $3.7 million figure.

The other personalities who have made it to the list as double-digit earners comprise of Jen-Hsun Huang of Nvidia, Marc Holliday of SL Green Realty, Jonathan Schwartz of Sun Microsystems and Michael T. Fries of Liberty Global. The struggle to reach the top level of the entrepreneurial ladder has been immense. As apart from a few counted founding entrepreneurs, all the others have struggled through an average time span of nine years to reach the pedestal. Over the years, the CEOs who have come in the limelight are seen to be mostly from the technology domain. Apart from them, there is a mixed presence of other domains like retail and financial services.

With the tech boom in 2000, the number of CEOs below the age of 45 has declined from 60 to 28. Narayen and D’Souza are some of the exceptions who still strive to reach the top. Narayen currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Adobe where he joined in January 1998 as Vice President and General Manager of the engineering technology group. Francisco D’Souza took over from Lakshmi Narayanan, who was promoted as the Vice Chairman. He is a person of Indian origin (PIO), born in Nairobi, Kenya, and lived in 11 countries. His father was a diplomat with Indian Foreign Services.

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