What does it take to get to the c-suite of Major League Baseball?

Note: This data was collected in 2018.

How long does it take to get to top of the business side in sports? We researched how many years from graduation to making it as CEOs or Presidents, and CIOs (or equivalent), among MLB teams.

Quarter of a Century

The average time from leaving school to first stepping into the role for the 27 CEO’S and 21 CIO’S included in our study was 25.4 years for CEOs and 17.69 years for CIOs.  CEOs in MLB make a livable wage, typically into the seven-figure range.

The range was 13 to 46 years for CEOs and 3 to 34 for CIOs. Stan Kastan took 13 years to get to the top of the Los Angeles Dodgers, while Ron Fowler of the San Diego Padres took the longer route (46 years). In technology, Corey Kmichik of the Milwaukee Brewers, reached the CIO spot in 3 years and Don Brown of the Chicago White Sox took 34 years.

We also wanted to visualize where these major players received their education. As you can tell from the following the large majority did come from D1 level schools for both CEO’s and CIO’S.

Proportion of D1, D2 and D3 schools for each path.

Position Other D1 D2 D3
CEO 1 22 1 5
CIO 4 11 3 4

We found a few interesting facts about the types of degrees that these leaders received. All CEO’s have bachelor’s degrees, but the spread of degree type is more varied than CIO. You have anything from psychology and American history to business and economics. Some CEO’s have MBA degrees, with one from Harvard and one from Wharton. Of the CIO’S, seven of the 29 have master’s degrees. The majority of the bachelor’s degrees are in engineering, with a few in MIS and computer science. There is even one CIO, Scott Swist, that has only a high school diploma and a lot of technical experience.

If you want to be a CEO the chances are higher if you have a law degree and come from a D1 school. To become a CIO, engineering degrees from a good school is a likely starting point, but other paths exist to get to the top of tech.