LinkedIn: Peter or Deborah Most Likely to Lead Your Company

What’s in a name? According to LinkedInsights data released by professional networking site LinkedIn, the top five names for male CEOs around the world are Peter, Bob, Jack, Bruce, and Fred, while their female counterparts go by Deborah, Sally, Debra, Cynthia, and Carolyn.

LinkedIn also found that U.S.-based CEOs tend to have four-letter names (like Jack and Fred), adding that the length of names varies by field — sales trends toward four-letter names like Chip, Todd, and Trey, while longer names like Rajesh, Jeremy, and Andrew are the trend in engineering.

LinkedIn senior data scientist Monica Rogati said:

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. 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.

Frank Nuessel, professor of classical and modern languages at the University of Louisville and editor of the American Name Society’s NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics, added:

Typically, hypocorisms, the shorter form of a given name, are used in intimate situations as a nickname or a term of endearment. It’s possible that sales professionals in the United States 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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