LinkedIn says “Peter” and “Deborah” are the top names for CEO’s

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with more than 100 million members worldwide, today released LinkedInsights data that reveal interesting findings about the top names of CEOs. The LinkedInsights data also showed surprising correlations among the lengths of names that dominate certain fields. For instance, CEOs in the United States often have four letter names (like Jack and Fred).

According to the LinkedInsights data, the top five names for male CEOs globally are:

  1. Peter
  2. Bob
  3. Jack
  4. Bruce
  5. Fred

The top five names for female CEOs globally are:

  1. Deborah
  2. Sally
  3. Debra
  4. Cynthia
  5. Carolyn

“It’s no secret that people often associate their title, employer and even their education as part of what defines them and their professional brand,” said Monica Rogati LinkedIn’s senior data scientist. “What’s interesting about this data is that we were able to discover a correlation between a professional’s name and the industry or functional area in which they work.”

For instance, in the U.S., there’s an interesting relationship between the amount of letters and top names for professionals in certain functional areas. Sales professionals tend to have short names, around four letters (like Chip, Todd and Trey), while engineers tend to have longer names, around six letters (like Rajesh, Jeremy and Andrew). U.S. professionals in the food and restaurant industry tend to have longer French names (like Thierry, Philippe and Laurent).

“Typically hypocorisms, the shorter form of a given name, are used in intimate situations as a nickname or a term of endearment,” said  Dr. Frank Nuessel, the editor of NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics (a publication of the American Name Society) and a professor of classical and modern languages at the University of Lousville. “It’s possible that sales professionals in the U.S. and male CEOs around the world use these shortened versions of their name as a way to be more approachable and accessible to potential clients. Interestingly enough, female CEOs appear to prefer to use their full names and not nicknames, which could signify that they want to be taken more seriously and want co-workers to think of them in a more professional light.”

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