Wait till you are 50!

In the middle of a week that seems kind of endless I wondered, how long it normally takes to reach the CEO position…I mean, definitely I will not become one till Friday, but I needed to find some encouraging information about young managers.
The first article I came across was about the 21-year old Azerbaijan premier Leage football manager Vugar Huseynzade (definitely worth reading). However, I felt like relying not just on the curious examples we could find on the last page of some business magazines, because, it is just the truth that not all of us are going to be ¨the exception¨. So, what did statistics say?
Old Knudsen rich-man1According to Fortunes top 500 CEO´s the median age of reaching the leadership position is 55 and that happens after approximately 13 years of working in the same company. (definitely didn´t feel any better – I am twenty and with no working experience) and really I hope not to become 183 (6’0″) tall to reach a successful position.
Standard & Poor’s 500 companies did not give me more hope.
Only four executives under the age of 40 took command between 2004 and 2008, according to the study. In 2010, the average age of incoming CEOs at S&P 500 companies was 52.9, down from 54.7 in 2006.
The situation may seem a little bit different in the technology and Internet companies in the USA. Eight of the 42 that held initial public offerings were led by CEOs who were under 40 at the time, according to a review of data from capital-markets data firm Dealogic.
Management theorist Vivek Wadhwa argued in a recent essay that Silicon Valley’s obsession with youth may help explain the venture industry’s recent rash of poor returns. He drew that conclusion after studying more than 500 technology and engineering companies that had more than $1 million in sales and at least five employees. Mr. Wadhwa found that the average age of the founders of those successful companies was 39, and that twice as many founders were older than 50 as were younger than 25.
Who are the most famous young CEO´s?
They include Andrew Mason of Groupon Inc. who was 30, and Spencer Rascoff of online real-estate site Zillow Inc. who was 35. Gary Wei Wang was 38 when Chinese online-video provider Tudou Holdings Ltd. went public last year. Adam Goldstein is still far from old (and just as close to the possibility of retirement) at the ripe old age of 23 as the CEO of Hipmunk. Tumblr’s David Karp brings up the rear of our list at 25 years old. The debate over youth at the top isn’t limited to the technology industry. Michael Reger used $3 million raised from friends and family to cofound Northern Oil & Gas Inc. in 2006 at the age of 30.
A realistic view over this data would be that the tendency of finding a young leader in the business sphere is growing. Growing slow. Too slow.

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1 Response to Wait till you are 50!

  1. Toni Vella says:

    Come to Canada! The average age of top CEOs here is 39.

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