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21 other CEOs we'd like to see run for president

We've gotten our first private-business-CEO-slash-president in the White House. But others might make interesting candidates. Such as? Hey, glad you asked ...
By Chris Hayner on
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1 of 21 Shutterstock

Mark Cuban, CEO of AXS TV

In a world where the head of the Trump Organization can successfully run for president you can't help but wonder what other CEOs might be able to fit into the role. Here, we suggest 18 CEOs that would make interesting candidates, if not downright effective ones. (Note: Some of them were not born in the United States, which technically takes them off the board. But, hey, there's always the chance of a Constitutional amendment, right?)

Cuban may be a self-described "shark," but maybe that's what we need at the next G20 summit. Plus, with the Department of Veteran's Affairs under a tight microscope these days, it can't hurt that Cuban has some experience in that area; he established the Fallen Patriot Fund, which helps families of those killed or injured during the Iraq War.

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2 of 21 Getty/Justin Sullivan

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla

The Tesla CEO fully supports the exploration of space. Given that the current administration has proposed major cuts for NASA, the man behind SpaceX could, instead, revolutionize America's space exploration programs.

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3 of 21 Revel Systems

Lisa Falzone, former CEO of Revel Systems

A self-made businesswoman, Catz and business partner Chris Ciabarra built Revel Systems from the ground up. That entrepreneurial spirit and never-give-up attitude could benefit anybody who, say, has to work with Congress to get a bill passed. Sadly, she's not yet 35 years old, the legal age one must be to become president.

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4 of 21 Reuters

Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix

Hastings may be the man behind "Netflix and chill," but one of the issues he cares most about is education. As a former member of California's State Board of Education, chances are he would be pretty hands-on with the federal version, should he become president.

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5 of 21 via ZDNet

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google

As the debate over net neutrality hits a fever pitch, Pichai -- like many tech CEOs -- advocates for a free and open internet for all. It'd be interesting to see how involved he might get with FCC appointments and decisions.

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6 of 21 Google

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube

With a Masters of Science in Economics, a mind like Wojcicki's could be very useful in what has become one of the most important duties of any president: Putting together the national budget.

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7 of 21 Salesforce.com

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce

The gender wage gap might get more attention with Benioff in the White House; he and his company have committed to a review of all Salesforce salaries.

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8 of 21 © Lucas Jackson/Reuters/Corbis

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square

One of the Trump administration's first proposals was killing funding to the National Endowment for the Arts, which drew sharp criticism from some quarters. Cuts like that likely wouldn't fly for Dorsey, who handed over half of his equity in Square to a foundation that invests in local musicians, artists and business in underserved communities.

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9 of 21 Shutterstock

Oprah Winfrey, CEO of OWN

Sure, she'd have to quit making movies and recommending books, but, as a creator of college scholarships, she'd likely have plenty to say about the current state of the nations' collective student debt.

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10 of 21 Starbucks

Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks

The unemployment rate is already a touchy topic in politics. But it's exactly that arena where Schultz would shine, thanks to the support he's already given to initiatives helping younger people and former military members find jobs.

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11 of 21 via ZDNet

Safra Catz, Co-CEO of Oracle

Catz speaks passionately about the importance of STEM education -- science, technical, engineering and mathematics. Given the ongoing debates over public school funding, a supporter of STEM might be exactly what Washington needs.

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12 of 21 Shutterstock

Bob Iger, CEO of Disney

The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger is already reportedly considering running for president in 2020. After originally joining Donald Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum, he withdrew himself from the group after the president exited the Paris Climate Agreement. At least we know that the environment would be a big concern for him, should he land in the White House.

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13 of 21 Via ZDNet

Paul Allen, former CEO of Vulcan Inc.

A president who strongly supports wildlife preservation and fighting illness in other countries, as Allen does with Ebola in West Africa, could do a lot to repair the country's reputation with certain foreign governments.

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14 of 21 James Martin/CNET

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

As Secretary of the Department of Education Betsy DeVos draws criticism for her lack of exposure to public schooling, Zuckerberg has focused much of his philanthropy at that very system. It makes us wonder what his education policies might look like as president.

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15 of 21 AT&T

Randall L. Stephenson, CEO of AT&T

President Trump's immigration policies have been nothing if not controversial. They also one piece of the administration Stephenson has been vocal about; he's argued for a large and skilled immigrant population, calling it vital to the country's growth.

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16 of 21 © Stephen Lam/Reuters/Corbis

Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn

Funding public schools is a problem in Washington, but Weiner's been busy working on a solution as a board member with DonorsChoose.org, a crowdfunding source for school programs.

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17 of 21 via ZDNet

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

As some states continue to mull over LGBT laws, an ally in the country's highest office would be valuable to have.

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18 of 21 James Martin/CNET

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

Nadella, a walking advertisement for the American dream, is proof of the importance of immigration. This India-born Microsoft CEO has been a vocal opponent of President Trump's immigration policies and would likely take strong interest in the issue. (We know, we know: The Constitution rules him out. But a website can dream, can't it?)

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19 of 21 via ZDNet

Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google

As the debate about the need for renewable energy continues, Schmidt already has made some impact. During his time as a member of Barack Obama's presidential transition team, he proposed a stimulus program for companies that work in renewable energy technology. The program might not be a hit with the coal industry, but Schmidt believed over $22 trillion could be saved.

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20 of 21 Shutterstock / Frederic Legrand - COMEO

Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft

Through his foundation, the former CEO has given more than $27 billion from his own fortune to the company to fund grants for everything from disease control to agricultural development worldwide. If anything, his view of global problems could be a nice asset to the executive branch.

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21 of 21 MicroStrategy Incorporated

Michael J. Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy Incorporated

Student loan debt is an issue that pops up in every election cycle, yet little is actually done about it. A mind like Saylor's could be a great asset in the White House, given his foundation's Free Education Initiative. Through his group, free courses -- some for college credit -- are available online.

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