Financial security is the major reason why executives vie for CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies. According to AFL-CIO, CEOs at Fortune 500 companies earned an average of $12.3 million in 2013 with about half that amount coming from company stocks and options. In the same year, the total compensation for Fortune 500 CEOs above $5 billion, which means there are huge financial benefits in becoming a chief executive officer in a Fortune 500 company.

If your goal is to become a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, then you will need an outstanding resume or CV, the appropriate educational background, and the zeal to work harder than your competitors. Becoming the CEO of a Fortune 500 company is possible—though not easy. Here are the gradual steps involved.

10 Steps to Become a CEO of a Fortune 500 Company in 2022

1. Pursue an undergraduate degree

Your first step towards becoming a Fortune 500 CEO is to pursue an undergraduate degree in your desired field. Strive to complete major coursework and general education requirements with excellent grades—because excellent grades will separate you from the rest of the pack. To broaden your experience and worldview, you should augment your undergraduate education with internships and study abroad opportunities; since most Fortune 500 companies are global companies.

2. Enroll for a MBA program

You can significantly boost your chances of becoming a Fortune 500 company by receiving a Masters of Business Administration from a reputable program or institution. Although bagging an advanced degree in your academic field is a good step, it will not necessarily provide the leadership skills and experience needed for CEO positions. And that’s exactly what an MBA gives you.

3. Write a compelling resume

Your resume is your sales pitch. So, use it to highlight your organizational, communication, and leadership skills as you apply for mid-level positions. You must not leave out any managerial or supervisory positions you have held in the past, going back to the start of your career.

You must also ensure that you emphasize those qualities that you think will appeal to hiring managers. And demonstrate a positive reputation among previous employers by having an extensive list of references.

4. Dress well

One of the shortcuts to success in the corporate world is to dress in a way that leaves your managers and employers impressed. Gather as much as black, blue, and brown suits and accessories as possible. And fill your wardrobe with enough matching shirts, belts, jackets, and shoes for a week without replication. Continue to add to your wardrobe every month to avoid wearing the same clothes too frequently.

5. Target leadership roles

At every stage of your career, you must aim for leadership opportunities, as this will prepare you for the position of a CEO. Even if you are a mail-room clerk, salesperson, or administrative assistant, always volunteer for project leadership positions. Your achievements with these roles can greatly improve your CV and demonstrate your qualifications for management and leadership positions.

6. Learn more by attending seminars and workshops

Attend night and weekend seminars in business management organized by industry groups and professional bodies. These seminars will help you integrate traditional management practices with new technology, so you can keep abreast of technology trends.

7. Interact with CEOs

Always exploit any opportunity to meet with the CEO of your company to learn about keys to successful management. You can enjoy brief outside-the-office chat sessions with top company executives by attending company-sponsored events and optional meetings. Though you won’t have more than few minutes to spend with these top executives most of the time, you will learn a great deal from each brief session.

8. Network with others

You can increase your profile and at the same time develop references for future advancement by cultivating contacts within your industry—beyond your current company. Attend conferences where you can meet with CEOs and other top executives from rival companies to learn about the industry from another perspective. In addition, keep in touch with your former employers and colleagues to learn about executive-level opportunities.

9. Be heard

Stick with particular viewpoint on your industry and advocate for it through offline and online media outlets. Create a personal blog for publishing your views on industry trends, competing companies, and other related information. However, be careful not to damage your employer’s reputation.

In addition, you can submit articles on your company’s behalf to business magazines, such as Entrepreneur and Inc. But this must be done with the company’s permission.

10. Develop a keen eye for opportunities for advancement

Instead of rising slowly through your first or current employer, look within the whole industry for opportunities for advancement to the position of CEO. Your chances of becoming a CEO may be brighter with a competitor rather than your current employer.

So, instead of toiling away for decades in mid-level positions, keep watching out for executive-level openings within your industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can You Become CEO Of Your Own Company?

The title of CEO is typically given to someone by the board of directors. Owner as a job title is earned by sole proprietors and entrepreneurs who have total ownership of the business. But these job titles are not mutually exclusive. Yes! CEOs can be owners and owners can be CEOs.

  1. Can A Founder Of One Company Be The CEO Of Another Company?

No! While every company has a founder, not every founder becomes the CEO. The founder can choose to become CEO, or he can delegate that responsibility to someone else. Although many founders are the first CEOs of their organizations, but it takes two completely different skill sets to start a company and run a business.

  1. Who Is A CEO Of A Company?

A chief executive officer (CEO) is the highest-ranking executive in a company, whose primary responsibilities include making major corporate decisions, managing the overall operations and resources of a company, acting as the main point of communication between the board of directors and corporate.

  1. How Can A Person Become A CEO Of A Company?

Follow the listed below steps\requirements on how to become a CEO  of a company;

  • Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Build On-the-Job Experience
  • Earn a Master’s Degree. Though, Optional
  1. Is A CEO An Owner?

The CEO is in charge of the overall management of the company, while the owner has sole proprietorship of the company. It is possible that the CEO of a company is also the owner, but the owner of a company doesn’t necessarily have to also be the CEO. The two have many differences as well as many similarities.

  1. If You Want To Become A CEO Does It Mean You Have To Start Your Own Company Or Can You Work For A Company?

Yes! Though small business owner titles can vary from the standard (CEO owner) to the specific (head plumber, director of technical operations). Every entrepreneur needs to make his or her own decision about the right title to use.

  1. How Do You Become A CEO Of Your Company Where You Are Currently Working?

To become a CEO of your company! First of all earn a bachelor’s degree in your selected industry, in a business-related field, do an MBA or another master’s program, gain experience, and opt for voluntary certification. After gaining experience in your industry, stick with one company for a number of years which shows commitment.

  1. What Is Best, To Own A Company Or To Become A CEO Of A Company?

To own a company is the best. Because the owner owns all the rights of the company and controls the employees. But CEO is only responsible for fundraising, recruiting, and managing the company for better competition.

  1. What Are The Qualifications Of A CEO?

Bachelor’s degrees in accounting, business, economics, finance and management are the common qualifications of a CEO.

10. When Should A Founder Of A Startup Become The CEO Of The Company?

The real CEO position starts when there is a complete organization with all the major functions in place. This transition typically starts at 20 to 30 people and by 50 people there is a distinct full-time CEO role.

11. If You Are Working In A Company, Can You Become The CEO Of Your Startup?

Yes! Young entrepreneurs often become CEOs by founding their own companies. CEOs need business, financial, problem-solving and management skills. But it can take years to become CEO unless you found your own business.

12. How Big Does A Company Need To Be To Have A CEO?

The decision to hire a CEO is usually done with a lot of tact and strategy. In some cases where small businesses are looking to scale up, it may be entirely appropriate and even encouraged to hire a CEO. If your business fits any of the following criteria, a small business CEO may be the right move.

13. Can A CEO Hire Anyone?

Yes! A CEO does actually have the power to hire anyone and he will do so only if it’s a benefit of the company.

14. Why Might The Founder Of A Company Appoint Someone Else As A CEO?

Hiring or appointing a CEO with business experience can help your company execute decisions and develop new ideas. In some cases, hiring a CEO with a background in the industry also helps your business appear more professional to people outside the company.

15. How Can You Become The CEO Of Any Company Without A Degree?

You can become a CEO of a company without a degree, consider the following ideas;

  • Become a proven insider
  • Over-index on results
  • Be a talent magnet
16. Who Is The CEO Of Pfizer?

The CEO of Pfizer is Albert Bourla.

17. What Does Interview With CEO Mean?

When interviewing with the CEO, they may expect you to demonstrate your interest in the company, your dedication to the role and your passion for the industry.

18. How Can A CEO Or Founder Be Fired From An Organization?

Yes! CEOs and founders of companies often find themselves out of a job after being fired by means of a vote undertaken by the board of the company. If the person in question is not the owner of a controlling share in the company, there is not much they can do to avoid being fired.

19. What Is Novartis CEO Salary?

Novartis CEO earns about $11,437,500.

20. What Is Pfizer CEO Salary?

Pfizer’s CEO salary earns about $1,700,000.

21. What CEO Looks For In An Employee?

The listed below are what CEO looks for in an employee;

  • Hustle
  • Honesty
  • Passion
  • Happiness
  • Creativity
  • Confidence
  • Flexibility
22. Can Shareholders Vote Out A CEO?

No! They can not remove a CEO.  And during this period of time the CEO is of course aware of much of what is going on if he or she is a director or shareholder since he or she would have been given notice of all such meetings and would have a right to vote.

23. How Much Is The Salary Of A CEO?

Using a different granted measure of CEO pay, the average top CEO salary is about $13.9 million in 2020.

24. Can You Become CEO Without Mba?

A CEO without an MBA can succeed in their positions by substituting experience for education. Plan to spend many years, or even several decades, establishing your career if you hope to be a CEO based on your work history. If you plan to go this route, make sure to get as much experience as possible throughout your career. Look for projects that give you responsibility for making decisions, experience in different facets of your industry and opportunities to lead other people.

25. Can A CEO Be Fired?

Yes! CEO is often fired by a vote of the company’s board.

26. Should The Founder Be CEO Of The Startup Till The End?

Some founders make great CEOs until the end, some don’t. So sometimes even if you want to stay put (as Reid Hoffman did) it may make sense to bring on the new CEO that is more experienced and enjoys more the scaling/large growth phase of a startup.

27. How Do You Become A CEO With No College Degree?
  • Become a proven insider
  • Over-index on results
  • Be a talent magnet
28. What Degree Do Most CEOs Have?

Though CEOs hold bachelor’s degrees in fields related to business, including business administration, management, or public administration. Most CEOs also have a master’s degree in business administration, economics, management, or another related degree.

29. Can You Become The CEO Of Google?

Yes! But if you must become a CEO of google company, then you should opt for CSE in a good college.

30. How Many Years Does It Take To Become A CEO?

Every situation is a bit different, but the short answer is most CEOs have at least a bachelor’s degree and five years of management experience before they become a CEO.

31. What Do Boards Do With Founders After Asking Them To Step Down As CEO?

A CEO stepping down from their role might cause panic and confusion. In addition, CEOs are often viewed as the core of a business, and changes in upper management often lead to upset among staff. As important as CEO leadership is, shifts are normal, and your CEO may not be a permanent fixture at the company forever.

32. How Do You Deal With A Toxic CEO?

The following are some tips on deal life with a Toxic CEO;

  • Don’t do a good job
  • Find the constraints
  • Become an expert flatterer
  • You are already contaminated
  • If you are an idealist just leave now
  • Trying harder will not work-find someone to debrief with- not a colleague or your life partner
33. Is An Interview With The CEO A Good Sign?

Yes, interviewing with the CEO is a good thing.

34. Who Is The Youngest CEO?

Hillary Yip. At age 15, she has become the youngest CEO in the world.

35. To Be A Great CEO, Which One Is Better To Start Your Career At Company, Or Your Own Startup?

It is better to start your career at company.  Although there may be less job security working with a startup, the beginning of your career is the best time to take risks. If you succeed you will have great rewards, while if you falter you have the backup support of family and not as many responsibilities as later on in your career.

36. Who Is More Powerful CEO Or Md?

The CEO is at the highest position in a company.He also rank higher than the vice president and some times, the Managing Director- MD.

37. Who Is The Richest CEO In The World?

With an estimated net worth of $177 billion, Elon Musk is the richest person in the world.

38. Why Are CEOs Paid So Much?

The Fed’s inflation of the U.S. stock market is the primary reason why the CEOs are paid so much. And the CEOs of public corp usually receive stock options as part of their compensation packages, which means that they can benefit greatly when their stock prices rise.

39. Is Owner Higher Than CEO?

There is no fact that proves that owner is greater than CEO! The difference between CEO and Owner is that CEO is the highest job title or rank in a company that is attained by a capable person whereas the owner is the person who hires or appoints people at higher levels of hierarchy. CEO is the job title or the highest rank in a company that stands for Chief Executive Officer.

40. Who Is The Most Handsome CEO In The World?

Elon Musk, Tesla Motors, SpaceX- the most handsome in the world.

41. Who Is The Youngest Female CEO In The World?

Whitney Wolfe Herd, the 31-year-old female entrepreneur and CEO of Bumble is now the youngest female billionaire in the world, and also the youngest leading female CEO to take a company public.