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):
|Warner Bros. Discovery||Shirley Li Haslett Chen||35|
|Fiserv, Seagate Technology||Dylan G. Haggart||35|
|Ford||Alexandra Ford English||35|
|Abiomed||Myron L. Rolle||36|
|Alaska Air Group||Susan J. Li||37|
|Enphase Energy||Joseph I. Malchow||37|
|Expedia Group||Samuel H. Altman||37|
|FirstEnergy Corp.||Andrew J. Teno||38|
|Meta Platforms (Facebook)||Tony Xu||38|
|Meta Platforms (Facebook)||Mark E. Zuckerberg||38|
|LKQ Corp.||Jacob H. Welch||39|
|eBay||Logan D. Green||39|
|Meta Platforms (Facebook)||Andrew W. Houston||40|
|Cisco||Sarah Rae Murphy||40|
|Pioneer Natural Resources||Matthew M. Gallagher||40|
|Targa Resources||Lindsey M. Cooksen||40|
|NRG Energy||E. Spencer Abraham||40|
|First Republic Bank||Shilla Kim-Parker||40|
|Estee Lauder||Leonard A. Lauder||90|
|Ralph Lauren||Frank A. Bennack Jr.||90|
|Fox Corp + News Corp||K. Rupert Murdoch||92|
|Berkshire Hathaway||Warren E. Buffett||92|
|Regeneron Pharmaceuticals||P. Roy Vagelos||93|
|Kimco Realty||Milton Cooper||94|
|Berkshire Hathaway||David S. Gottesman||97|
|Berkshire Hathaway + Costco||Charles T. Munger||99|