Nikesh Arora becomes rare non-founder billionaire


Our Bureau

Santa Clara, CA

Former Google and Softbank executive Nikesh Arora is now worth $1.5 billion as he earns the rare distinction of being non-founder billionaire. The bulk of Arora’s wealth comes from being the CEO of Palo Alto Networks, which has seen its stock rise substantially over the last few years.

Arora, with a BTech in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from IIT BHU, moved to the US. Here he completed an MBA from Northwestern University and and MS in Finance from Boston College. His first major role had been at mobile provider T-Mobile, where he ended up being the Chief Marketing Officer after a 6-year stint. He joined Google in 2004, and rose up to become its Chief Business Officer in 2012 — at that point, he was the highest-paid executive at Google. At Google, Arora was receiving a $51 million package and had also earned himself stock awards worth at least $200 million.

Arora joined Softbank in 2014. The role had made him the world’s best-paid executive, where he earned a $135 million compensation package in his first year. After leaving Softbank, he joined Palo Alto Networks. On June 1, 2018, Arora took on the role of CEO and chairman at Palo Alto Networks.

Palo Alto Networks is a cybersecurity company that specializes in firewalls and cloud-based security offerings. When was hired, Arora had a compensation package of $125 million that included basic pay and stock grants. But a series of global cybersecurity incidents have raised the demand for cybersecurity software, making Palo Alto Networks share price to soar.. As his company’s stock has quadrupled, Nikesh Arora’s Palo Alto Networks earnings are now a whopping $830 billion.

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