Smaller companies have a higher percentage of CEOs older than 60.
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.
Interestingly, there was no apparent correlation between age and overall tenure at a company.
Nor is there an apparent correlation between age and tenure as CEO of that company.
SO WHERE WERE THE DIFFERENCES?
CEOs between 38-49 years old do correlate with higher median 3-year growth rates.
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.
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.