USA Today Reports On Older CEOs
Succession Planning Central to Smooth CEO Transition
New York, NY (April 22, 2016) – USA Today journalists Marco della Cava and Charisse Jones explored the potential link between CEO age and shareholder value in “For older CEOs, issue is knowing when to bow out”. The authors point out that succession planning is key in ensuring CEOs make a graceful, timely transition. In the piece, Thomas J. Fuller, Epsen Fuller Group Managing Partner & CEO, provides a counterpoint, noting that age should not be a leading factor in determining whether a person is fit to lead. He also points to the wisdom and sound decision-making that often accompanies older, seasoned CEOs.
Following is an excerpt:
According to an analysis of S&P Global Market Intelligence data that USA TODAY did last year, shares of companies with the oldest 10 CEOs were up 48.9% on average over a two-year period ending Jan. 25, 2015, topping the 39.5% average gain of the other stocks in the S&P 1500.
“There are CEOs operating well into their 70s and beyond who are awesome, and you could argue you’re doing the company a disservice by removing them (at 65),” says Thomas Fuller, CEO of C-suite advisory firm Epsen Fuller Group. He is not a fan of the mandatory retirement policies that have been adopted by roughly half of the nation’s largest companies.
Such policies typically require CEOs to step down at 65 and board members to retire at 72. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act specifically safeguards older workers for being laid off due to age, but the act is not valid for those in executive-level positions.
“In our work, we try and advise boards (hiring CEOs) to take age off the table,” says Fuller. “Yes, there can be concerns that older CEOs may be more concerned with preserving their legacies. But you could also argue that older, seasoned CEOs will help a company avoid mistakes.”
About Epsen Fuller Group
Epsen Fuller Group, epsenfuller.com, is a Top-20 executive search and leadership consulting firm headquartered in New York, and with offices in New Jersey and San Francisco as well as in major markets and business centers throughout the world, providing instant access to a world-class executive talent pool driving the global economy.
For nearly 20 years, clients have trusted Epsen Fuller Group to deliver top leadership talent around the world. Using a proven, data-driven Performance Based AssessmentSM process, Epsen Fuller delivers a dynamic experience, outstanding service, and exceptional value in Executive & Board Search as well as Leadership & Executive Coaching, Board Governance, and Private Equity Advisory services.