CEOs are starting their jobs at younger ages

Among S&P 500 companies, the average age of CEOs at appointment was younger in 2022 than the year prior, according to a report released Feb. 13 by leadership advisory firm Spencer Stuart.

The average age of 53.8 for 2022 is down from the 2021 average age of 55.9. This represents the largest year-over-year drop for newly appointed CEOs in the S&P 500 since 2000. Nearly 30 percent of newly appointed CEOs in 2022 were under age 50. 

"Coupled with the slight spike in internal appointments, this age drop could indicate boards are adopting longer-term views on CEO succession again, and that they are willing to appoint leaders with less proven experience, but the raw potential to be great CEOs," Spencer Stuart said. 

Prior to 2022, the average S&P 500 CEO age at appointment had been rising, peaking at about 56 in 2021 as boards leaned toward more experienced CEO candidates amid the pandemic, according to the firm. 

The firm also said the average age of departing S&P 500 CEOs fell in 2022, to 62.6, compared to 64.2 in 2021.

The Spencer Stuart report is based on the firm's examination of CEO transitions at S&P 500 companies. 

To read the full report, click here

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