The Young and the Restless: The S&P 500’s Youngest, and Oldest Board Members

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Old age is like anything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young. With that in mind, this week our analysts looked at every S&P 500 board of directors — pulling together a few data points on the age of S&P 500 directors, as well as a list of the youngest, and oldest directors in the mix.

Clearly, experience is valued in board rooms, as the lion’s share of these directors (nearly 50%) are in their 60s. Unsurprisingly, this statistic that has remained relatively consistent across over time (in 2016, the average age of an S&P 500 director was 62, while today it’s 63.6). It also stays relatively consistent across sectors – with communications services coming in as the “youngest” sector in 2021, with an average director age of 60.7 years, and energy coming in as the “oldest”, with an average director age of 64.5 years.  

According to research cited by Korn Ferry, more than 75% of S&P 500 companies have instituted age limits for board directors. Despite this fact, our data shows 970 directors are aged 70 or above. 

But what’s most interesting, in our opinion, are the extreme statistical outliers. According to our analysis, only three-tenths of one percent of all S&P 500 directors are 40 or younger. These 20 fledgling directors, led by 35-year-olds Li Chen (CEO of Narrativ), Dylan Haggart (partner at ValueAct Capital), and Alexandra Ford English (daughter of Ford Chairman Bill Ford), juxtapose with the S&P 500’s nine nonagenarian directors, a group led by a man who has hopefully figured out Monty Python’s Meaning of Life by now – 98-plus-year-old Charlie Munger.

Without further ado, here’s the full list of outliers (all ages are rounded to the nearest year):

The young: 

Warner Bros. DiscoveryShirley Li Haslett Chen35
Fiserv, Seagate TechnologyDylan G. Haggart35
FordAlexandra Ford English35
AbiomedMyron L. Rolle36
Alaska Air GroupSusan J. Li37
Enphase EnergyJoseph I. Malchow37
Expedia GroupSamuel H. Altman37
FirstEnergy Corp.Andrew J. Teno38
Meta Platforms (Facebook)Tony Xu38
TwitterParag Agrawal38
Meta Platforms (Facebook)Mark E. Zuckerberg38
LKQ Corp.Jacob H. Welch39
eBayLogan D. Green39
Meta Platforms (Facebook)Andrew W. Houston40
CiscoSarah Rae Murphy40
Pioneer Natural ResourcesMatthew M. Gallagher40
Targa ResourcesLindsey M. Cooksen40
NRG EnergyE. Spencer Abraham40
First Republic BankShilla Kim-Parker40 

And…the restless:

Estee LauderLeonard A. Lauder90
Ralph LaurenFrank A. Bennack Jr.90
SalesforceSanford Robertson91
Fox Corp + News CorpK. Rupert Murdoch92
Berkshire HathawayWarren E. Buffett92
Regeneron PharmaceuticalsP. Roy Vagelos93
Kimco RealtyMilton Cooper94
Berkshire HathawayDavid S. Gottesman97
Berkshire Hathaway + CostcoCharles T. Munger99

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