Twitter's Parag Agrawal is the youngest CEO in the S&P 500, nudging out Zuckerberg

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New Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal. Photo: Twitter
New Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal. Photo: Twitter

Twitter's new CEO Parag Agrawal is now the youngest CEO in the S&P 500, but apparently just barely.

Agrawal, who was appointed Monday to succeed Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, is 37, the same age as Meta Platform Inc. 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 May 14 birthday.

Dorsey, at 45, was already among the dozen youngest CEOs in the collection of the largest U.S. 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 Inc. CEO Warren Buffett, is the oldest CEO in the S&P 500 at 91, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The average age of a CEO among the 500 largest companies was about 58 years, the data show. But the broader trend in CEO age still doesn’t favor 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.

Agrawal’s appointment signals that Twitter will continue to focus on blockchain and decentralized technologies, which have become a major point of interest for Dorsey.

As chief technology officer Agrawal was the point person inside Twitter as it created Bluesky, which aimed to create a "decentralized standard" for social media, a project Dorsey said was his "biggest focus" during an interview in July. Agrawal, who was named CTO in 2017, has also been involved in Twitter’s crypto and blockchain teams. 

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