Happy 28th Birthday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: Does His Age Matter?

By Julie D. Andrews 

Now that discussions of Facebook Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s wardrobe have been exhausted (hoodie, jeans, kicks, we got it), let’s move on to more tantalizing tidbits, shall we?

For starters, it turns out that Zuckerberg, who is celebrating his 28th birthday today, is older than Steve Jobs was at the time of the Apple initial public offering Dec. 12, 1980 (Jobs was a mere 25-year-old cub).

Additionally, he is exactly as old as Michael Dell was when he took Dell public June 22, 1988, at $8.50 per share (compared with the current price of $15.46, according to Morningstar), AP reported.

In the event you were curious, Apple’s opening price was $22 per share; and, today, according to Morningstar, it is trading at a behemoth $563.38.

When compared with all S&P 500 CEOs, and not just tech forefathers, Zuckerberg is younger by half, according to research from global executive search firm Spencer Stuart, cited by AP.

What’s age got to do with it?

Maybe nothing. That’s because Zuckerberg has already been seated atop his company for eight years, compared with the average seven years of S&P 500 CEOs, according to Spencer Stuart.

Additionally, Zuckerberg is flanked by more seasoned (read: older) top talent plucked from fellow tech big-leaguers such as Google (from where his right-hand woman, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who joined in 2008, hails) and Genentech (from where he snatched Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman in 2009), who help to advise his every move.

Let’s not forget the board of directors Zuckerberg has assembled, including 66-year-old Donald Graham, chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Co.

Then again, Zuckerberg’s younger age could be a boon. After all, the social network is comprised largely of a youth that grew up with the Internet — and the social network — as a way of staying connected to and informed about the world, compared with CEOs middle-aged and beyond, who only recently adapted to social media.

So, basically, anything could happen. There are cards in and against Zuckerberg’s favor.

Recall more from Jobs’ biography, though, namely the part in which Jobs was plucked from the top of Apple and former PepsiCo executive John Sculley was handed the reins. Will Zuckerberg learn from Jobs’ mistakes and learn how to make stakeholders, and not just Facebook users, happy?

Readers: Do you think Mark Zuckerberg’s age makes a difference in evaluating the prospects for Facebook’s IPO, positive or negative?