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Wednesday, 07 July 2010 15:08

Technology CEOs Report - Age Featured

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Smaller companies have a higher percentage of CEOs older than 60.

CEO age distribution

The predominance of older CEOs in companies with revenues between $100 M – $1 B is partially attributable to over half of these CEOs being founders.

Non founder vs. Founder age distribution

Interestingly, there was no apparent correlation between age and overall tenure at a company.

Correlation between age and tenure at company

Nor is there an apparent correlation between age and tenure as CEO of that company.

correlation between age and tenure as CEO


CEOs between 38-49 years old do correlate with higher median 3-year growth rates.

Company performance by CEO age group

In part, this is because companies with revenue between $100 M –$1 B are over-represented in the youngest age group. However, the performance edge of younger CEOs is consistent when looking at CEOs from the smaller companies by themselves.

The edge of younger CEOs is consistent, though more muted, in companies with revenues > $1 B.

Company performance by CEO age group

Interestingly, the only CEO of a company with > $1 B in revenue who was under 50 outperformed the majority of CEOs.


Youth can be a real asset to emerging companies, especially those under $1 B. In technology companies, executives familiar with emerging technology tend to be younger.

Ages 50-59 seem to be ideal for optimal company growth for companies > $1 B.

Read 316 times Last modified on Monday, 29 June 2020 14:20
Dora Vell

Dora Vell is the Managing Partner of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston focused on recruiting technology executives and board members. Vell has successfully completed numerous board member and C-level executive searches, including CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and Vice Presidents - at both public and private companies.

Prior to founding the firm in 2005, Vell was a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles' Technology practice for seven years.  Before her career in executive search, she worked at IBM for 11 years, managing software engineering organizations of 100 people and software sales organizations with revenues of $150 million. She has also served as an executive assistant to the CEO of IBM Canada for one year.

Vell holds seven worldwide software patents. She has published several Business of Leadership reports on governance and leadership and has been quoted in numerous articles including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Agenda Week, MSNBC, Mass High Tech, the OPUS for the World Economic Forum, Boston Business Journal, The Globe & Mail, CIO Magazine, and IEEE. She also has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for developmentally handicapped adults,, and RBC Capital Partners.

She has received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a Master in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor in Computer Science from Carleton. She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.

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