Nikesh Arora, who hails from Ghaziabad, is among the wealthiest CEOs globally.
Nikesh Arora, a native of Uttar Pradesh, is currently recognized as one of the highest-paid Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) worldwide. With a distinguished career in corporate leadership, he has held prominent positions at major global corporations. He was once ranked among Google’s top four executives and later became Softbank’s second-in-command. Additionally, he has contributed his expertise to companies such as Wipro, Bharti Airtel, T-Mobile, and Deutsche Telekom. Presently, Arora serves as the CEO of the cybersecurity leader, Palo Alto Networks. In 2018, he joined the company with a groundbreaking compensation package of $128 million.
Nikesh Arora, born in Ghaziabad, India, is an alumnus of IIT Varanasi, where he graduated in 1989. After completing his engineering degree, Arora pursued an MBA in the United States. He embarked on a remarkable career at Google, steadily ascending the corporate ladder over a span of ten years before leaving the company in 2014. Subsequently, he joined Softbank, where he was hailed by investment tycoon Masayoshi Son as a “rising star.” During his tenure at Softbank, Arora played a pivotal role in significant investments, including Oyo Rooms, Snapdeal, and Ola, with the firm investing over $2 billion under his leadership. His exceptional performance led him to become one of the highest-paid corporate executives globally, earning an annual salary of $73 million. In fact, his initial compensation package at Softbank set a record in the history of Japan.
Under the leadership of Nikesh Arora, Palo Alto has achieved remarkable milestones and aspires to become the first cybersecurity firm with a market value of $100 billion. During his tenure, the company experienced substantial growth, with its market capitalization increasing by $27.8 billion over three years. Shareholders were rewarded with impressive returns totaling $3.6 billion, and Palo Alto recorded record-breaking revenue of $5.5 billion in FY2022. Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Arora guided the company successfully and demonstrated his commitment by voluntarily forfeiting $1 million of his salary. Notably, Palo Alto Networks did not lay off a single employee during this period, showcasing Arora’s dedication to both the company and its workforce.
According to Palo Alto Networks’ financial report, Nikesh Arora has received a total compensation of over $33.5 million in the past two years. In 2021, his earnings amounted to $23.28 million, which, based on the average USD-INR conversion rate for July 2021, equated to approximately Rs 173.4 crore for the fiscal year ending in July 2021. In 2022, his earnings totaled $10.40 million, which, based on a similar conversion average for July 2022, amounted to Rs 82.7 crore. Consequently, Nikesh’s overall compensation in the last two years exceeded Rs 256.1 crore, implying an addition of over Rs 35 lakh to his wealth each day during that period. He is recognized as one of the wealthiest CEOs globally, with a net worth of Rs 8,500 crore, according to the latest IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List for 2022.