US CEOs are older and more company-loyal than their foreign counterparts

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On average, U.S. CEOs are older than their European counterparts — and more loyal.

That's according to a recent study, "Route to the Top," by executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. The research examined the paths for employees who went on to become CEOs in the U.S., the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

The main reason that U.S. CEOs are older? They wait longer for promotions than their European counterparts. Meanwhile, the study claims, "European CEOs are typically younger when promoted."

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"Prior to being tapped as CEO, the U.S. executives toiled, on average, for 20 years within their companies, while their European counterparts attained the top job after no more than 14 years, on average, on the inside," it adds.

Notably, it also found that CEOs in the U.S. are more commonly promoted from within than in other countries. For instance, 85 percent are given the top spot after working at the company, compared with 68 percent in Germany, 61 percent in the United Kingdom and just 48 percent in France.

The research, which was conducted last year, examines chief executives of the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500, the FTSE 100 in the United Kingdom, the DAX 30 and MDAX 50 in Germany and the SBF 120 in France, according to Heidrick & Struggles.

The study also notes that the average age for U.S. CEOs is 52, compared to 50 or younger for the other countries examined.

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