CEO is a coveted aspiration. The lure holds strong across the globe, especially among youngsters. They grow up with the dream of being the youngest CEO in the world and changing the world for good. Influence, social standing, money, and fame will come by default to the world’s youngest entrepreneur.
An abbreviation for Chief Executive Officer, CEO is at the top of the hierarchy in a given corporation. He/she is responsible for virtually everything in an organization, from planning to execution and management. Being the decision-maker, he/she drives an organization’s vision and destiny.
Top Youngest CEOs in the World
CEOs have some common traits, regardless of their age, gender, or the corporation they lead. Think leadership skills, the ability to see beyond the obvious, think out of the box, and communicate clearly and effectively, along with curiosity, confidence, team spirit, vision, passion, and whatnot.
Often, these traits come with age, right? Wrong! Professionals barely in their 20s successfully leading their respective organizations are commonplace. These are gifted individuals who have what it takes to be in the position where they are. Day in and day out, they are leading from the front and steering their respective organizations forward in an intensely-competitive scenario.
So, let’s get some inspiration from the top 10 youngest CEOs in the world.
1. Parag Agrawal
With an annual compensation of over $1 million-plus perks and a celebrity status at just 37, Parag is the youngest CEO to spearhead a Fortune 500 company. Previously, he was serving as Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at Twitter. Before his stint with the social media giant, he had a brief stint as an intern researcher with Microsoft Research, Yahoo! Research, and AT&T Labs. Here, he made sense of large-scale data management.
A Computer Science Engineering alumnus of IIT Bombay, Parag was a topper in his batch and a silver medallist. Upon completing his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University, there was no looking back for Parag.
Journey to the top
Parag’s rise to the top came in wake of Jack Dorcey stepping down from the CEO position. His association with Twitter dates back to 2011 as a software engineer. His notable contributions include making Twitter Ads systems scalable to future growth, boosting home timeline relevance to drive user engagement, and more. Come 2017, he rose to the rank of CTO where he spearheaded the company’s forays into decentralized technologies, notably Blockchain, Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Vision for Twitter
As CEO of Twitter, Parag has his share of challenges to deal with.
- Launched new monetizable products, which Twitter has failed to do in recent years.
- Power Twitter to growth in countries where growth has been hard to come by.
- Stay on top of emerging technologies and incorporate the relevant ones.
- Make further inroads into the Blockchain, ML, and AI technologies
- Double the revenue by 2023, which stood at $3.7 billion in 2020. DOB: 21 May 1984
- Birthplace: Ajmer, India
- Education Qualification: MS Ph.D. – Stanford University, B.tech- IIT Bombay
- Current Profile: CEO of Twitter
- Yearly income: $1 million-plus perks
- Spouse: Vineeta Agrawal
2. Mark Zuckerberg
We are all familiar with this name. Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is the CEO and co-founder of Facebook. He was born in May 1984, and his passion for programming was evident early on. Later in his college days at Harvard University, Zuckerberg was referred to as a programming prodigy. Here, he came up with a Course Match program for the scholars to help them choose their courses wisely, suiting their interests and aspirations.
Later on, Mark got inspiration from a book named Facebooks, where he built a website for fun and named it Facemash. The website initially succeeded in attracting visitors but failed to sustain viewers’ interest for some reason. In 2004, he started working on a replacement website called TheFacebook with four of his friends. Later, TheFacebook became Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, and his associates, the co-founders of Facebook. Mark became the youngest CEO in the World.
After numerous ups and downs, finally, all the efforts became fruitful. His net worth is 12,270 crores USD. He’s also the CEO of Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. Can we imagine our lives without these apps? On 4th October 2021, we got the answer when all these applications were temporarily disrupted.
3. Ritesh Agarwal
OYO hotels have expanded globally. The credit goes to the CEO and founder, Ritesh Agarwal, who has made it easier for people to rent affordable hotel accommodations around the world. This 25-year-old billionaire and one of the youngest CEOs in the world loves traveling, and the idea of the company struck during one of his travels.
Ritesh realized that budget-friendly hotels do not provide amenities like AC, complimentary breakfast, and more. He decided to change that for good, and hence, OYO was born. His phenomenal rise shows that innovation and the ability to make a change can lead to success.
4. Marissa Mayer
In 2010, Yahoo! was among the foremost email service providers. Yes, I suppose everyone first had a Yahoo! account only. When Yahoo! was at its peak, its CEO and President was Marissa Ann Mayer. Also, she was among the 50 most powerful businesswomen from 2008 to 2014 and ranked 498 out of the top 500 Fortune CEOs.
In the year 2008, she was said to be the youngest woman ever listed at age 33. Since her childhood, she was as brilliant in studies as in extracurricular activities. And that’s the reason she not only took tough decisions for the company but also built a vibrant work culture.
Before she joined Yahoo!, employees were showing up at 9 am or 10 am, and leaving by 4 pm or 5 pm. Within a week of Mayer’s joining, their work hours expanded from 7 am to 7 pm. Also, she brought free food for everyone including herself. She always believed the environment plays a crucial role in the success of an individual or the company! Truly she is an inspiration to us.
5. Advait Thakur
One only needs an excellent idea to become successful, and Advait Thakur is a true example of that. Born in 2003, he was keen on learning and did great in academics. Advait went on to be the youngest CEO in the world aged 15 when he founded Apex Infosys India. The company has been delivering top-notch web development solutions in India and beyond since its inception in February 2017.
It would not be wrong to call him a kid entrepreneur as he launched his first website at the age of 9. His first client was a finance company for whom he built a web portal and provided services like SEO and SMO. His first earning was just $400. Being one of the youngest business owners in the world, Advait Thakur is presently delivering his services to Google’s Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing APIs. His other high-profile client is IBM.
6. Jared Hecht
Hecht is a young entrepreneur from America and co-founder and CEO of Fundera, an Internet marketplace helping small businesses acquire finance. During an interview, Hecht said, “I wanted to be the next Bill Graham”. He was passionate about music. So, Hecht started his music marketing and production company with two of his friends. Later on, he co-founded GroupMe, which is a messaging app that helps to connect people, allowing them to create groups, make conference calls, and text messages.
7. Sean Kelly
Sean Kelly is the king of mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financing, and strategic advisory. He is the CEO and founder of Fortitude Advisors, an investment banking company that deals with mergers and acquisitions, along with equity and debt finance services. This financial advisory company was founded in the year 1997, but before that, Kelly started his career as an Investment Banker in M&A at Alex. Later, he served as the President of Cappello, a leading middle-market investment company.
8. Evan Spiegel
Snapchat is among the leading instant messaging applications. Evan Spiegel is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Snap Inc. He became a popular figure and a billionaire at an early age. The story of this mega-successful entrepreneur started in the year 2011 when he offered his idea for his ultimate project, a mobile application that would allow people to share messages within a second; at that time his schoolmates laughed at him and called it a lame joke. But now they know that lame joke is now the most famous social media application, Snapchat!
He studied at Stanford University, later he met his future co-founders of the Snapchat Empire Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown at a party. At just 26 of age, he achieved a net worth of $2.1 billion.
9. Ben Kaufman
Ben Kaufman is the CEO and the founder of CAMP, a national chain of family stores founded in 2018. At 18, he started his first company Mophie, but quickly realized how hard it is to launch a product and keep it afloat. He is also known as the breaker, maker, founder, and CEO of Quirky in 2009!
Within the first few years, 28-year-old Ben raised $185 million and grew his startup to 300 employees.
10. Suhas Gopinath
Suhas is the founder, CEO, and Chairman of an IT MNC, Global Inc. He achieved it all before turning 18, which makes him the youngest CEO in the world. As a child prodigy, he made his first website with the help of books and self-learning, www.coolhindustan.com, at age 14. And, what were most of us doing at 14? Perhaps, watching cartoons, playing e-games, or making excuses to skip studying.
He is a proud recipient of Karnataka’s Rajyotsava Award, Young Achiever Award, and other prestigious awards and recognitions. Suhas is a young and talented guy, who also holds a diploma from the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University.
The CEO is the top boss in a company. And, to be one, age doesn’t matter. Our list of the youngest CEOs in the world makes it clear. So, if you are talented, just go with the flow and fine-tune your skills. All the CEOs on this list followed their inner desire to stand out as a hero. So, don’t be afraid to start now. It is better to be late than never. Who knows that one day you can be the world’s youngest CEO.
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