Explore the path of an ASX 200 CEO

Do you have career ambitions for the top job? Robert Half's annual CEO Tracker uncovers the key backgrounds and trends found in Australia's top executives - giving you an opportunity to see whether you have what it takes to become a CEO.

What do Australia's top CEOs have in common?

Robert Half's annual CEO Tracker explores the key trends found in Australia's top business leaders, showcasing how the ASX 200 CEOs got to where they are today.

GET A DEGREE/DIPLOMA

82%

of ASX 200-listed CEOs hold an undergraduate degree

CEOs with a diploma/degree were able to make CEO within their current company on average 1.2 years faster than those who did not have a diploma/degree

VIEW THE TOP 5 MOST POPULAR DEGREES

GET A POSTGRADUATE DEGREE

56%

of the ASX 200-listed CEOs hold a postgraduate degree

CEOs with a postgraduate diploma/degree were able to make CEO within their current company on average 1.1 years faster than those who did not have a postgraduate diploma/degree

VIEW THE TOP 5 MOST POPULAR POSTGRADUATE DEGREES

CONSIDER A CAREER IN FINANCE

47%

of the ASX 200-listed CEOs have a background in finance*

*Finance, accounting and/or financial services.

CLIMB THE INTERNAL LADDER

60%

of the ASX 200-listed CEOs were promoted internally

VIEW PROMOTED INTERNALLY VS EXTERNALLY

BROADEN YOUR OVERSEAS HORIZONS

59%

of the ASX 200-listed CEOs have worked internationally

27%North America
3%Latin America
30%Europe
9%Africa
33%Asia-Pacific

*CEOs who have worked in multiple regions have been counted several times accounting for the regions they have worked in.

EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT

  • 82%

    have a degree/diploma

  • 56%

    have a postgraduate degree

  • 15%

    do not have a tertiary qualification

There's no denying that real-world skills and practical experience offer benefits that go beyond the classroom. Academic credentials however remain a critical part of determining the most suitable candidate for a role, especially at the C-suite level. While there is no exact formula or particular standout qualification, it's ideal to look for candidates who can showcase a combination of real-world experience alongside a strong academic background.

AN MBA IS NOT THE ONLY POSTGRADUATE DEGREE TO CONSIDER

23%

of the ASX 200-listed CEOs have an MBA

VIEW THE TOP 5 MOST POPULAR POSTGRADUATE DEGREES

While an MBA is internationally perceived as the must-have postgraduate degree for a management position, there are also other postgraduate degrees that should be taken into consideration for a C-suite position in a company. Any postgraduate degree will be useful for a senior management role to offer a broad overview of how all the different parts of a business interact and work together. It is however advised to look for professionals with industry experience and complementary practical skills.

THERE IS VALUE OUTSIDE OF THE BUSINESS

35%

of the ASX 200-listed CEOs were recruited externally into the role

TENURE AS CEO

Although it is relatively more common for senior executives to rise through the ranks of a company internally, there is added value in hiring talent from outside of the business. Going outside the company to hire also offers benefits, as the externally hired CEO - typically experienced in several industries - can offer new perspective, alleviate change and bring in new skillsets.

THE VALUE OF EXPERIENCE AT THE TOP

26%

of the ASX 200-listed CEOs were in a CEO role previous to their current role

VIEW PREVIOUS ROLE BEFORE BECOMING CEO AT THEIR CURRENT COMPANY

While it is common for CEOs to move from one CEO role to another, there is also value in considering other senior executives within the company. Aside from having a thorough knowledge of the product/service, company culture and customer, being experienced in areas such as finance or operations can also add value and provide new perspective.

THE VALUE OF INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

59%

of the ASX 200-listed CEOs have worked internationally

VIEW INTERNATIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE

In today's globalised world, obtaining experience of different working cultures is an important way for business leaders to differentiate themselves. As technology continues to develop and make it easier for more businesses to work across international boundaries, being able to demonstrate success in different countries and global assignments is a credential in business leaders that is highly sought-after.

ABOUT THE RESEARCH

Robert Half has conducted research on CEOs of the ASX 200 by analysing publicly-available sources of information about ASX 200 CEOs to track trends including their professional and educational background, gender, and length of tenure. The research was analysed from the period 31st May 2018 - 20th July 2018, and all results are correct to the best of our knowledge.

The information within the Robert Half CEO Tracker is based on publicly-available information. Where possible, the information has been checked and verified by the offices of the CEOs.

The current ASX 200 companies include:

  • Abacus Property Group Stapled
  • Adelaide Brighton Limited
  • AGL Energy Limited
  • Als Limited
  • Altium Limited
  • Alumina Limited
  • Amcor Limited
  • AMP Limited
  • Ansell Limited
  • APA Group Stapled
  • Apn Outdoor Group Limited
  • ARB Corporation Limited
  • Ardent Leisure Group Stapled
  • Aristocrat Leisure Limited
  • Asaleo Care Limited
  • ASX Limited
  • Atlas Arteria Ordinary Stapled Securities
  • Aurizon Holdings Limited
  • Ausdrill Limited
  • Ausnet Services Limited
  • ANZ Banking Group
  • Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Limited
  • Automotive Holdings Group Limited
  • Aveo Group Stapled
  • Bank of Queensland Limited
  • Bapcor Limited
  • Beach Energy Limited
  • Bega Cheese Limited
  • Bellamy’s Australia Limited
  • Bendigo And Adelaide Bank Limited
  • BHP Billiton Limited
  • Blackmores Limited
  • Bluescope Steel Limited
  • Boral Limited
  • Brambles Limited
  • Breville Group Limited
  • Brickworks Limited
  • BWP Trust Ord Units
  • Caltex Australia Limited
  • Carsales.com Limited
  • Challenger Limited
  • Charter Hall Group Forus
  • Charter Hall Retail Reit Unit
  • Chorus Limited Foreign Exempt NZX
  • CHTR H LWR Stapled Securities
  • Cimic Group Limited
  • Cleanaway Waste Management Limited
  • Coca-Cola Amatil Limited
  • Cochlear Limited
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • Computershare Limited
  • Corporate Travel Management Limited
  • Costa Group Holdings Limited
  • Credit Corp Group Limited
  • Cromwell Property Group Stapled
  • Crown Resorts Limited
  • CSL Limited
  • CSR Limited
  • CYBG PLC Cdi 1:1
  • Dexus Property Group Stapled
  • Domain Holdings Aus
  • Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited
  • Downer Edi Limited
  • Duluxgroup Limited
  • Eclipx Group Limited
  • Estia Health Limited
  • Evolution Mining Limited
  • Fairfax Media Limited
  • Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Limited NZX
  • Fletcher Building Limited NZX
  • Flight Centre Travel Group Limited
  • Fortescue Metals Group LTD
  • G.U.D. Holdings Limited
  • G8 Education Limited
  • Galaxy Resources Limited
  • Gateway Lifestyle Group Stapled
  • Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia Limited
  • Goodman Group Stapled
  • GPT Group Stapled
  • Graincorp Limited
  • Greencross Limited
  • Growthpoint Properties Australia Stapled
  • GWA Group Limited
  • Harvey Norman Holdings Limited
  • Healthscope Limited
  • Idp Education Limited
  • Iluka Resources Limited
  • Incitec Pivot Limited
  • Independence Group NL
  • Infigen Energy Stapled
  • Insurance Australia Group Limited
  • Investa Office Fund Stapled
  • Invocare Limited
  • IOOF Holdings Limited
  • IPH Limited
  • Iress Limited
  • Iron Mountain Incorporated Cdi 1:1
  • James Hardie Industries PLC Cdi 1:1
  • Janus Henderson Chess Depositary Interests
  • JB Hi fi Limited
  • Lendlease Group Stapled
  • Link Administration Holdings Limited
  • Lynas Corporation
  • Macquarie Group Limited
  • Magellan Financial Group Limited
  • Mayne Pharma Group Limited
  • Mcmillan Shakespeare Limited
  • Medibank Private Limited
  • Metcash Limited
  • Mineral Resources Limited
  • Mirvac Group Stapled
  • Monadelphous Group Limited
  • Myob Group Limited
  • Nanosonics Limited
  • National Australia Bank Limited
  • National Storage Reit Stapled
  • Navitas Limited
  • Newcrest Mining Limited
  • News Corporation. B Voting
  • Nextdc Limited
  • Nib Holdings Limited
  • Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Limited
  • Northern Star Resources LTD
  • Nufarm Limited
  • Oil Search Limited 10T
  • Ooh! Media Limited
  • Orica Limited
  • Origin Energy Limited
  • Orocobre Limited
  • Orora Limited
  • Oz Minerals Limited
  • Pact Group Holdings LTD
  • Pendal Group Limited
  • Perpetual Limited
  • Pilbara Min Limited
  • Platinum Asset Management Limited
  • Premier Investments Limited
  • Primary Health Care Limited
  • Qantas Airways Limited
  • QBE Insurance Group Limited
  • Qube Holdings Limited
  • Ramsay Health Care Limited
  • REA Group LTD
  • Regis Resources Limited
  • Reliance Worldwide Corporation Limited
  • Resmed Inc Cdi 10:1
  • Resolute Mining Limited
  • Retail Food Group Limited
  • RIO Tinto Limited
  • Sandfire Resources NL
  • Santos Limited
  • Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited
  • Scentre Group Stapled
  • Seek Limited
  • Seven Group Holdings Limited
  • Seven West Media Limited
  • Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group Stapled
  • Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited
  • Sims Metal Management Limited
  • Sirtex Medical Limited
  • Skycity Entertainment Group Limited NZX
  • Smartgroup Corporation
  • Sonic Healthcare Limited
  • Soul Pattinson
  • SOUTH32 Limited
  • Southern Cross Media Group Limited
  • Spark Infrastructure Group Forus
  • Spark New Zealand Limited NZX
  • Speedcast Int Limited
  • ST Barbara Limited
  • Steadfast Group Limited
  • Stockland Stapled
  • Suncorp Group Limited
  • Super Retail Group Limited
  • Sydney Airport Forus
  • Syrah Resources Limited
  • Tabcorp Holdings Limited
  • Tassal Group Limited
  • Technology One Limited
  • Telstra Corporation Limited
  • The A2 Milk Company Limited NZ
  • The Star Entertainment Group Limited
  • TPG Telecom Limited
  • Trade Me Group Limited NZX
  • Transurban Group Stapled
  • Treasury Wine Estates Limited
  • Vicinity Centres Stapled
  • Viva Energy Reit Stapled
  • Vocus Group Limited
  • Webjet Limited
  • Wesfarmers Limited
  • Western Areas Limited
  • Westfield Corporation Stapled
  • Westpac Banking Corporation
  • Whitehaven Coal Limited
  • Wisetech Global Limited
  • Woodside Petroleum
  • Woolworths Limited
  • Worleyparsons Limited
  • Xero Limited