Twitter’s new CEO, Parag Agrawal, is now the youngest CEO in the S&P 500, but apparently just barely.
Agrawal, who was appointed on Monday to succeed Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, is 37, the same age as Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Citing security concerns, Twitter wouldn’t disclose Agrawal’s date of birth, but confirmed he was born later in 1984 than Zuckerberg’s 14 May birthday. Dorsey, at 45, was already among the dozen youngest CEOs in the collection of the largest US companies.
“I don’t think the age thing is that big of a deal, especially for companies like this. It could be an advantage,” said David Larcker, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, who studies CEO performance. “The fact that Dorsey is stepping down from the board, so he’s not going to be like a shadow CEO, he must have real confidence in him.”
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett is the oldest CEO in the S&P 500 at 91. The average age of a CEO among the 500 largest companies was about 58 years, the data shows. But the broader trend in CEO age still doesn’t favour youth. Data on S&P 500 companies measured over the last two decades by executive recruiter Spencer Stuart shows a small but steady increase in the age of the CEO.
Agrawal joined Twitter in 2011. Dorsey will stay on the board of the San Francisco-based company until his term expires in 2022, Twitter said Monday in a statement. Agrawal is also joining the board, where he will also be a statistical outlier. The average age of an S&P 500 director is 63, according to Spencer Stuart. — Jeff Green and Kurt Wagner, (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP