Another executive on our list who did not grow up in the US, and has proved that you can start life as a logistics analyst and still make it to the boardroom, is Heinz CEO Bernando Hees.
No stranger to controversy (he told students in Chicago during one memorable speech that “the food [in the UK] is terrible and the women are not very attractive”) Hees is not one for false modesty either, adding: “I graduated in 1998, 40% went into the dot-com industry, 30% went into banking and consulting. Six years later I was CEO of a $7bn dollar company, and [my classmates] were looking for jobs.”
Pathway to the top: Hees joined America Latina Logistica, Latin America's largest railroad and logistics company, in 1998 as a logistics analyst. He then moved up the ranks with lightning speed, becoming operational planning manager, CFO, commercial officer, director-superintendent and finally CEO in 2005. In 2010, he became CEO of Burger King before taking on the same role at Heinz in June 2013 following its acquisition by private equity firms Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital.
Education: Hees has a degree in economics from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; an MBA from the University of Warwick in the UK; and in 2005, completed an Owner/President Management course at Harvard Business School.