San Jose, California
Even though he had the tools to become a technical success in Silicon Valley — a bachelor's degree in electronics engineering and a master's degree in computer science — Shantanu Narayen thought he needed to beef up his business knowledge. "It was clear I needed to round out some of my entrepreneurial genes with a business education." So in 1991, the then–Apple Computer, Inc. manager decided to attend evening classes to pursue a Berkeley MBA.
Narayen says he learned not only how to apply his engineering knowledge to running a business, but savored the interaction with his fellow students and instructors. After Apple, Narayen served as director of desktop and collaboration products for Silicon Graphics, then co-founded Pictra, Inc., a company that pioneered the concept of digital photo sharing over the Internet.
Narayen joined Adobe in 1998 as a senior VP of worldwide product research, was later promoted to executive vice president of worldwide products, and then became CEO in 2007. He defines his professional success as being able to capitalize on the opportunities Adobe provides and says of his Berkeley MBA, "it gave me a very broad perspective on business — and a tremendous amount of confidence."