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Mr Nikesh Arora– The Billionaire CEO of Palo Alto Networks

By News Canvass | Jan 05, 2024

Nikesh Arora has set a substantial remark as he entered the billionaires list even though being a non-founder tech executive.  He worked with the biggest companies in the world and is one of the best paid executive. Mr. Nikesh Arora is an electrical engineer graduate from IIT-BHU and has created a special place for himself in the tech world with companies paying high packages to retain talent like him. Let us understand his journey in detail.

Who is Nikesh Arora??

Nikesh Arora is an Indian-American Business Executive. He was born to an Indian Air Force officer Mr. Jagdish Kumar Arora. He was born on 9th February 1968.Nikesh Arora did his schooling from The Air Force School in Delhi. He graduated from IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Varanasi with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. This took place in 1989. After that he went to Boston College for MS degree and also went to Northeaster University to get a degree in MBA. He got a CFA designation after that.

Family Life

  • Nikesh got married to Ayesha Thapar who is Delhi based girl and CEO of a company named Indian City Properties Ltd (ICPL), She has studied from Wellesly College with Economics as her subject.
  • She moved back in India in 2008 and joined ICP.  
  • Ayesha is also a director of Integrated Realty Private Ltd and The Waterbase Ltd. Ayesha loves painting and also has a line of jewelry in her name.
  • Before her stint in ICP she had launched her own business. She was previously the CEO of a Telecom VOIP company.
  • This was in US for a period of 5 years. Ayesha is the great granddaughter of Karam Chand Thapar, who is the founder of Thapar Group. Ayesha is the daughter of Vikram Thapar, who is Managing Director and Chairman of KCT Group of Companies. Nikesh has a daughter from her previous marriage. Ayesha gave birth to Nikesh’s son in June 2, 2015. They named him Kiaan.


  • Arora’s career started with Fidelity Investments, Putnam Investments and Deutsche Telekom. He began his career in 1992. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish T-Motion in 2000, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, which was eventually integrated into T-Mobile’s core services.
  • As a testament to his versatility and leadership skills, he also served as the Chief Marketing Officer of the T-Mobile International Division of Deutsche Telekom AG. In 2004, Arora joined Google and rapidly climbed the corporate ladder, holding multiple senior leadership roles.
  • He served as the Vice President of Europe operations, President of Europe, Middle East and Africa, and finally, the Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer.
  • He also worked for the Colgate-Palmolive Company as the Board of Directors from March 2012. He eventually resigned it in 2014. He had worked for Google for a period of 10 years. He left Google in the year 2014, resigning from the post of Chief Business Officer and Senior Vice President. Arora was paid an amount of $75 million to lead the Softbank operations.
  • This kind of pay package made him the world’s 3rd richest executive. Softbank is a Japanese Internet Corporations and multinational telecommunications. On 21st June 2016, he announced his abrupt resignation from the company.

Google’s Highest Paid Executive in 2012

  • Nikesh Arora became the highest-paid executive of Google in 2012 when the company hired him on a $51 million package. By the end of his time at the Silicon Valley-headquartered company, Nikesh Arora collected stock awards worth at least $200 million.
  • In 2004, he joined Google. In Google, he served as Vice President, Europe Operation from 2004 to 2007, from 2007 to 2009 President Europe, Middle East, and Africa and President, Global Sales Operations, and Business Development from 2009 to 2010.
  • From January 2011 to 2014, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer at Google Inc. In July 2014 he resign from the post of Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer in July 2014.

Palo Alto Networks-

  • After achieving one of the most dignified positions in SoftBank, Nikesh Arora chose to resign. He joined Palo Alto Networks in June 2018 and currently serves as the CEO and Chairman of the company. Palo Alto is a Santa Clara based company founded in 2005.
  • The main products of the company are cybersecurity and cloud computing. After Arora joined the company, it made the biggest acquisitions in its history. In 2018, Palo Alto ranked 8th in Forbes Digital 100. The company acquired Demisto for $560 million,
  • Twistlock for $410 million and recently Aporeto for $150 million in 2019. Nikesh Arora is a great leader. Under his leadership, Palo Alto is doing excellent. He has proved himself as a truly skilled individual.

Nikesh Arora-The Rising Star

  • Palo Alto aspires to make $ 100 billion cybersecurity company under the leadership of Mr. Nikesh Arora. Under his direction the business saw a market capitalization increase of $ 27.8 billion over the course of three years returned $3.6 billion to shareholders and achieved record sales of $ 5.5 billion in FY 2022.
  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, Arora oversaw Palo Alto and made the decision to forgo $ 1 million of his income. According to Palo Alto Networks’ financial report, Arora received pay totaling more than $33.5 million over the previous two years.
  • According to the average USD-INR conversion rate for July 2021, Nikesh earned a total of $23.28 million in 2021, which is equivalent to roughly Rs 174 crores for the fiscal year that ended in July of that year.
  • Nikesh made $10.40 million in 2022, which translates to Rs 82.7 crore using the same translation average for July 2022. Over the past two years, Nikesh has received compensation totaling more than Rs 256.1 crore, increasing his wealth by more than Rs 35 lakh every day.

Success Lessons Nikesh Arora Taught The World

  • Arora, an alumnus of BHU, in his speech once, said, “It was the time of exponential revolution, where millions of information are generated within minutes, and in order to keep ourselves updated to the fast moving world, we need to adapt to innovative learning.” Also he added “To fulfil our dreams, one must have the will to take up challenges.
  • Nikesh Arora is one of the rarest non-founder billionaire tech CEO. In his last three positions—starting at Google, moving on to SoftBank, and ending in Palo Alto—he became the most highly compensated executive on Wall Street, and one of the most highly compensated employees in the world.
  • According to estimates, his personal fortune was estimated at half a billion dollars, receiving about $50 million in one successful year at Google, and according to a report in Reuters, making around $200 million in two years at SoftBank.  
  • In Palo Alto Networks, Arora received a salary package worth $130 million, most of which consisted of options and shares. The sharp jump in Palo Alto stock since he took office has also made his equity compensation extremely valuable, making him even richer.
  • Nikesh Arora Believes that “ the key to the success of the method is identifying the right products, then retaining the employees of the acquired companies so that the product continues to develop”.
  • In Palo Alto Networks they realized that the key to the success of the process is creating interest, providing independence, and money. A lot of money.
  • Despite the rapid growth and high revenues, Palo Alto only turned a profit in the last quarter, because historically stock allocation expenses weighed on its reports. But these shares, which were generously distributed to the employees and also increased more than threefold in the last five years, greatly enriched the founders and employees of the acquired startups.
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