6 people who landed the CFO job by age 30

Young entrepreneursnenetus/ShuttershockAge is only a number.

Landing an executive-level job can take years of dedication and perseverance, especially if that position is in the C-suite.

These six individuals not only made it to the top rungs of their organisations, they managed to land chief financial officer roles at large and rapidly growing companies before they turned 30 years old.

Whether working for hot tech startups or global fast-food chains, these savvy professionals have conquered the business world faster than the average exec.

While some tech cofounders gave themselves the CFO title, that doesn’t discount the massive billion-dollar successes they have achieved in their respective industries by striking the right balance with their ability to raise funds and spend wisely.

Here’s our list of six CFOs who landed the job before their 30th birthday.

Nolan Watson became the CFO of Silver Wheaton at age 26.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Nolan Watson.

Watson was an early bloomer in the world of finance. The young entrepreneur graduated from the University of British Columbia with a bachelor of commerce degree at age 19 and headed to Deloitte & Touche where he worked in the corporate finance department, performing business valuations and merger and acquisition support services.

After gaining a good level of experience he jumped ship to Silver Wheaton Corp. to serve as controller and as Silver Wheaton's first employee. Within a year Nolan was named as the company's chief financial officer, making him the youngest-ever CFO of a New York Stock Exchange-listed company.

Within two years into his role Nolan raised more than $US1 billion in debt and equity to fund Silver Wheaton's acquisition goals.

Watson eventually left Silver Wheaton and set up a new venture called Sandstorm Gold, a metal-streaming company focused on gold purchase agreements. He currently sits on the board of directors for Bear Creek Mining Corp. and True Gold Mining Inc.

Dylan Smith became the CFO of Box at age 20.

Hulu / Bravo TV
Dylan Smith.

Smith cofounded Box with childhood friend and college roommate Aaron Levie. Smith invested $US20,000 of his online poker earnings to feed the company's need for seed capital. To launch Box, Smith decided to take a year off from Duke University, ultimately finishing his degree while serving as the company's 20-year-old CFO.

In his current role, Smith runs investor relations and all aspects of Box's financial operations. He has been instrumental in Box's growth and development and is responsible for building the company's business and finance infrastructure.

Box went public in 2015, and Dylan remains as the company's CFO.

Grayson T. Lisenby became CFO of Rice Energy at age 27.

Rice Energy at the NYSE opening bell.

Lisenby joined Rice Energy as its CFO in October 2013 at the ripe young age of 27. He earned the position after leading a $US100 million investment round into Rice Energy during his time as an investment professional at Natural Gas Partners.

Before NPG the wunderkind worked as an investment banker for Barclays Capital Inc.

Lisenby is now 29 years old and still serves as the company's CFO. He was also named as the firm's senior vice president in February. That BBA in finance he earned from the University of Texas has served him well.

Benjamin R. Mulling became CFO of TENTE Casters, Inc. at age 28.

Ben Mulling
Ben Mulling.

Mulling is the CFO of TENTE Casters, Inc., a multinational manufacturer of mobility solutions for the institutional and medical markets. He assumed the CFO position in 2008 at age 28. Prior to his CFO role, he served as the company's controller.

Mulling also serves as the chair of the Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business.

In his spare time he takes on the role of adjunct instructor of management accounting at Indiana Wesleyan University and Xavier University.

Mulling tells Business Insider that he has 'made continuing education a high priority,' which explains his numerous degrees, including an AAS in accounting from the University of Cincinnati, a BS in accounting from Northern Kentucky University, and an MBA from Liberty University.

Mulling is now 33 years old and still holding down the fort as the CFO at TENTE.

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