Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The Year of the Veteran?

(By Richard Holway) As you have probably seen, Carol Bartz is heavily tipped to take the CEO post at Yahoo! (Good comment on this in Lex in today's FT - Yahoo's new chief) to be vacated by Jerry Yang. Every report describes the former CEO of Autodesk as a ‘veteran’. Bartz is 60 - although you wouldn't think it looking at her picture. Hope it's not one taken 'some years ago'! Bartz is about the same age as me. I am also variously described as the ‘veteran IT analyst’

Yesterday we held our quaterly Chairman’s Lunch at the Prince’s Trust Technology Leadership Group addressed by Jon Moulton of Alchemy. Jon has assumed my mantle as the most gloomy UK forecaster. One of the more interesting points made was how IT companies in this recession were retaining their older more experienced workers at the expense of younger, less experienced staff. A quick poll around the table lead to an average age of c40 or more for the workforces in the companies represented – up on previous years. Real ‘University of Hard Knocks’ experience is really valuable right now.

The last general economic recession to hit the UK IT industry was in the early 1990s. To have gained any management experience at that time you would have needed to have been at least in your early 30s then. Ie you’d be in your late 40s or early 50s or older now.

Perhaps us Golden Oldies really will have a new lease of life!

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