10 military veterans who became CEOs of Fortune 500 companies

They took the leadership lessons they learned in the military into the boardroom.

In 1980, 59 percent of CEOs in U.S. public corporations had some form of military background, according to Vista College. In 2009, that percentage had fallen to 8 percent.

Continue Reading Below

Despite the dramatic drop over the last 40 years, there are still a number of CEOs who have taken the leadership lessons they learned in the military into Fortune 500 boardrooms.

Here are 10 current and former CEOs who have served in the U.S. military.

RETIRED MARINE REVEALS THE CHALLENGES OF RETURNING TO THE CIVILIAN WORKFORCE AFTER 20 YEARS

Alex Gorsky

Alex Gorsky, the Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson speaks in 2015. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for Johnson & Johnson)

Alex Gorsky, CEO and chairman of Johnson & Johnson, served in the U.S. Army for six years. Before his service, Gorsky attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, according to his Johnson & Johnson bio.

Frederick W. Smith

FedEx Corporation Chairman, President and CEO Frederick Smith is pictured in 2017. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

According to his bio page, Chairman and CEO of FedEx Frederick W. Smith was an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years, from 1966 to 1970.

Ken Hicks

Ken Hicks is the CEO of Academy Sports. (Ken Hicks Official)

Ken Hicks is the chairman, president and CEO of sporting goods and apparel company Academy Sports. He previously served as the CEO of Foot Locker from 2009 to 2014.

Hicks attended West Point for his undergraduate degree and served in the U.S. Army, according to Veterans Advantage.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

Scott Wine

Scott Wine, Chairman and CEO of Polaris Industries Inc., speaks in 2015. (Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Scott Wine, chairman and CEO of Polaris Industries Inc., attended the United States Naval Academy, according to Bloomberg. Wine also served as a naval officer, according to his Polaris bio.

Alan B. Miller

Alan B. Miller is the founder and CEO of Universal Health Services. (Universal Health Services)

Universal Health Services was founded in 1979 by Alan B. Miller, who is still the chairman and CEO of the hospital management company. Miller also served in the U.S. Army in the 77th Infantry Division, according to his UHS bio page.

Stocks in this Article

JNJJOHNSON & JOHNSON
$140.38
+0.82 (+0.59%)
FDXFEDEX CORPORATION
$156.61
+3.32 (+2.17%)
FLFOOT LOCKER
$39.85
+0.01 (+0.03%)
UHSUNIVERSAL HEALTH
$144.71
+2.87 (+2.02%)
VIABVIACOM INC.
$24.22
+0.75 (+3.20%)
VZVERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC.
$61.19
+0.37 (+0.61%)
PGPROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY
$124.19
-0.43 (-0.34%)
MCDMCDONALD'S CORP.
$195.35
+1.14 (+0.59%)
WBAWALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE INC.
$58.63
-0.47 (-0.80%)
LMTLOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION
$386.86
+0.92 (+0.24%)
PIIPOLARIS INDS
$95.50
+1.09 (+1.15%)

Sumner Redstone

Sumner Redstone, the former CEO of Viacom, is pictured in 2012. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

Billionaire Sumner Redstone, the former CEO of Viacom, is still the controlling shareholder of CBS — which merged with Viacom this summer, according to Forbes. The 96-year-old served in the U.S. Army during World War II, cracking Japanese military codes, the outlet reported.

Lowell C. McAdam

Lowell McAdam, the former CEO of Verizon Communications Inc., speaks in 2018. (Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Verizon's former CEO Lowell C. McAdam served in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineering Corps for six years, according to his bio page.

Robert A. McDonald

Robert A. McDonald, who served as the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs under President Obama and previously served as the Chairman, President and CEO of Procter & Gamble, is pictured in 2016. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

After he served as the chairman, president and CEO of Procter & Gamble, Robert A. McDonald became the secretary of Veterans Affairs under President Obama in 2014.

McDonald graduated from West Point and served in the U.S. Army with the 82nd Airborne Division, according to his website.

HERE’S HOW BIG TECH HELPS SMALL BUSINESS LED BY VETERANS

James A. Skinner

James A. Skinner, the former vice chairman and CEO of McDonald's Corp., is pictured in 2009. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

James A. Skinner, executive chairman of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. and former CEO of McDonald's Corporation, served in the U.S. Navy for almost 10 years, including during the Vietnam War, according to Veterans Advantage.

Robert J. Stevens

Now-retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation Robert J. Stevens speaks in 2012. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Retired Chairman, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin Robert J. Stevens served in the U.S. Marine Corps for six years, according to his Lockheed Martin bio.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS