If you think starting a company is better when youngsters take the lead, you’re probably wrong. Also, if you think that once a 50-year-old man, you can’t give a kick-start to your dream project, you’re absolutely wrong.
Here we are with another list, but this time with a hope to help our readers who are in their 50s but still looking to start their own work. In fact, late-50s CEOs have a much better experience, productivity and work enthusiasm as compared to a youngster looking for a start-up.
For youngsters, a start-up may (or may not be) a hype, but for people in their late 50s, a start-up is a matter of do or die situation.
Let’s have a look at the list of the companies that were initiated by late-50 CEOs. Here we go.
1.Geico – Leo Goodwin
Leo Godwin was writing insurance policies for his employer and that’s when the idea of starting his own insurance company came. Geico is an American auto insurance company headquartered in Maryland.
Founded in 1936 by Leo Goodwin Sr. & his wife – Lillian Goodwin to cover insurance directly to federal government employees and their families. In their late-50s, CEO Leo Goodwin’s wife was the only person who was beside him while he started this company.
Today, there are more than 16 million Geico auto policyholders, 20 million+ insured vehicles by Geico and more not less than 15 offices in the U.S alone. Can you imagine how big the firm is?
Leo Goodwin was in his late 50s when he started this insurance firm! Wait, there are 7 more before you are fired up!
2. It’s Finger-Lickin’ Good – KFC
After serving in the army for more than 40 years, Colonel Harland Sanders had other plans. When he was 40 years old, he was already running a service station in Kentucky especially opened for hungry travelers.
In 1952 the business actually took the pace he desired, but by that time he was already in his late 50s (but he was still unstoppable in terms of growth and expanding). He introduced the concept of fried chicken that went popular like crazy.
KFC with a market cap of more than $146.13 million, we all can imagine how BIG it is! But it all started with an army veteran in his late 50s struggling to make a difference with his fried chicken concept.
3. McDonald’s – I’m Lovin It
Ray Kroc stopped by at a restaurant when he was stuck with munchies. The restaurant was operated and managed by 2 brothers – Dick and Mac McDonald. Kroc was so impressed by their restaurant (and the feast) that he decided to help them scale up their business.
By the time he finished munching his burger, Ray was confident that this could be the next American breakfast! When Mr. Kroc was 52, he turned their business into a franchisee and created McDonald’s System Inc.
Though in his late 50s, Kroc turned around their business overnight. We won’t be highlighting their success because we all know how BIG the small eating joint is.
4. Home Depot – Inaugurated 1st store with a partner who was in the late 50s
Bernie Marcus was the sole player of Handy Dan Home Improvement Centres until he was fired by the company. That following year, while he entered his late 50s lifestyle decided to open his own home-improvement store with Arthur Blank.
That’s when the establishment of Home Depot started. Their very first store was 60,000 square feet which gave a whole new meaning to typical hardware stores.
Today, Home Depot is the largest home-improvement retailer having not less than 2290 stores worldwide. It wouldn’t have been possible if Bernie took his late 50s life as a hindrance.
5. Martha Stewart’s Career Kickstarted When She Was in Her late-50s
An American retail businesswoman, writer, television personality who started her career as a stockbroker on Wall Street.
It takes much longer for her to quit a well-paying job when her family relocated to Connecticut in 1972. There, she restored the 19th-century farmhouse due to which she was fascinated in homemaking.
Over the next few years, Stewart went ahead with her catering business and by 1990 when she was 49, she published 1st issue of her magazine, Martha Stewart Living.
Writers usually don’t get into the limelight with their initial work. As soon as Martha entered her late 50s stage, she gained huge popularity and her writing did make a difference. The company went on to become an empire, encompassing more magazines, books & TV shows. Stewart’s company has a net worth of $1.2 billion.
6. Wally Blume founded Denali Flavors – An Ice Cream Company
After experiencing the dairy industry for 20 years, Blume finally went on a journey to start his own business in 1995.
This man in his late 50s started off Denali Flavours and makes about $80 million a year. The team has added more than 40 flavors along with Moose Tracks. Apart from selling ice-creams, the company is also into cookies, snacks and flavored milk business.
For a man in his late 50s after spending 20 years in an industry, it was time to sit back and enjoy the retirement, but his plans were something else! A senior citizen working hard as a young entrepreneur and grabs all the success like a superstar.
7. Huffington Post
Huffington Post was founded in 2005 by Andrew Breitbart, Arianna Huffington, Kenneth LErger & Jonah Pretti. At Huffington Post, one can read news, satire, blogs and original content and covers politics, business, entertainment, technology, popular media, lifestyle, culture, comedy, healthy living, women’s interest, and various local news.
Today it’s a website that we mandatorily click when we need to stay up to date with any happening around the world. During her late 50s when Arianna launched this website, she was almost broke as editor in chief.
But the news site slowly gained momentum and, in a few years, the site was known as the most influential blog globally.
8. The RealReal, Julie Wainwright
Ex CEO of Pets.com Julie Wainwright was in her late 50s when she decided to shut down the company. After experiencing the corporate culture, she finally decided to create something of her own.
In 2011, she managed to launch an online (& brick-and-mortar marketplace) for authentic luxury designer items. In the 1st year, the company made approx. $10 million in sales. Last year, the company announced it would be added half a million square foot eCommerce space in Perth Amboy, New Jersey to its existing eCommerce centers spread in Secaucus, New Jersey & California.
So these were our 8 superstars traveling in their late 50s (some are even in their 90s by now) but still working hard as young entrepreneurs.
The motive of this compilation is to convey a simple message that age is just a number when it comes to fulfill your dream and go with your dream project.
People in their late 50s are still making a difference and uplifting corporate culture. Cheers to all our late 50s rockstars!