As it turns out, if you want to be a CEO of a public company before you turn 35, it helps to have chosen the right parents. The kind who built-up public a public company. Failing that, you can start your own company. Whatever you do, don’t try to move up the corporate ladder.
But being young and in charge isn't a typical scenario for the top brass of publicly traded companies. Of the companies on Wall Street's Russell 2000 Index, there are just eight chiefs age 35 or under. Among the small group, McCauley, who began with Gymboree in 2001 heading inventory allocations, is the lone CEO to race up the corporate ladder. Three of the chiefs take the reins of their family firms, and the remaining four founded their own companies. Each recognized quite early a desire to take a leadership role.
America's Youngest CEOs [Forbes]