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Can you be a CEO?

Can you be a CEO?

It all depends on the length of your name, says one LinkedIn exec

December 29, 2011 3:09 by



The length of your name could determine if you’re CEO material, apparently. But don’t get too excited… just yet. This is not based on research conducted by a group of determined scientists from the University of What-not. No.

Instead, it has been cooked up as a fun exercise by business-to-business social networking website LinkedIn.

At the Mindshare Media Summit in November, Fredrik Bernsel, sales director, EMEA partners, LinkedIn, said that after looking at professionals in LinkedIn’s database, the company found that four-letter first names are the most common names of CEOs.

In addition, there are certain names that have a high frequency, he said. “The five most common CEO names are: Peter, Bob, Jack, Bruce and Fred. And for women, it’s Deborah, Sally, Debra, Cynthia and Carolyn,” he added.

When you think about the idea in terms of the Middle East and North Africa’s media and advertising industry, you want to believe it’s more than just a coincidence. Just look at the names of some of the chairmen and CEOs of regional agencies.

Short names seem to be the norm: Raja Trad at Leo Burnett, Elie Khouri at OMG, Dany Naaman at Havas Digital, Roy Haddad at JWT, Tarek Miknas at FP7, Samir Ayoub at Mindshare, Joe Ghossoub at Menacom, Dani Richa at Impact BBDO… the list goes on.

LinkedIn also found a correlation between the length of a person’s name and their profession, says Bernsel.

“Sales people also tend to have names or most commonly have names that are four letters long,” he adds. We wonder if that means our sales team are the next CEOs. (Sara might climb the ladder faster than Grace by this logic.)

Engineers seem to typically have six-letter names such as Rajesh, Jeremy or Andrew, but names seven letters or longer appear to be popular among those in the restaurant business – such as Philippe and Laurent. According to Bernsel, restaurateurs can even go up to 10 to 12 letters.

While all this is merely based on correlation and is just for fun, it’ll be interesting to see how things turn out if we accept the idea at face value.

So, if you are a Peter, Omar, Jane or Hala, you could be set for great times ahead. But if you are Abdullah, Margaret or Alessandro, you may just have to learn to cook an egg sunny side up.

This article was first published in Kipp’s sister title Communicate



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