People still holding power over the age of 80

December 30, 2023

This list tracks people who held powerful positions when over the age of 80, starting with those currently in office and then looking at those who have retired or passed away.

Warren Buffett, 93: chairman Berkshire Hathaway: born August 30, 1930.

Gerry Harvey, 83: the Harvey Norman executive chairman was born on September 18, 1939.

Dr Fauci, 82: the leading US medico on all things COVID is currently 82.

Kerry Stokes, 83: the executive chairman of Seven West Media turned 80 in September 2020, having been born in Melbourne on September 13, 1940.

Ita Buttrose, 81: the out-going ABC chair celebrated her 80th birthday on January 17, 2022 after being born in Sydney way back in 1942.

Joe Biden, 81: the US President turned 81 on November 20, 2022.

Solomon Lew: the chairman of Premier Investments was born in 1945, so is into his 78th year and showing no signs of stepping down.

Past examples of people who were still serving when over the age of 80

Charlie Munger, 99: vice-chair, Berkshire Hathaway: born January 1, 1924 and died in the job on November 29, 2023.

Queen Elizabeth II, 96: UK monarch: born April 21, 1926 and died on September 8, 2022.

Rupert Murdoch, 92: executive chair News Corp and Fox Corp: born March 11, 1931. Finally retired as executive chair of News Corp and Fox Corp in November 2023.

Alan Jones, 80: held a lot of power in Australia over many years, largely courtesy of the 2UE and 2GB breakfast shows, but was still wielding power with his 4 nights a week show on Sky News until early November 2021, when he was de-platformed by News Corp at the age of 80 and a half.

Frank Lowy: the former Westfield executive chairman turned 90 on October 22 last year and decided to retire as Scentre Group chairman on his 85th birthday birthday in 2015 and then bowed our as Westfield Corporation chairman when it was taken over by Unibail Rodamco in early 2018. He was 87 when the takeover completed. See AFR piece.

Thomas Watson Sr: the de facto founder of IBM, ran the company until just before his death in 1956, at the age of 82.

Ian Ferrier: finally bowed out as chairman of Goodman Group shortly before his 80th birthday in late 2020. See this AFR interview.

Ronald Reagan: retired as President in January 1989, shortly before his 78th birthday. Was born on February 5, 1911.

Bruce Teele: born on August 19 1937 and retired as AFIC chairman in October 2013 at the age of 76.