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Mortimer Caplin Quoted in Bloomberg, Too Old for Murdoch Board Is Young Among Buffett's Octogenarian Directors

September 15, 2011, Bloomberg

Excerpt taken from article.

Boardroom age limits are less prevalent and set higher than they were five years ago, according to the latest report on director trends by executive recruitment company Spencer Stuart. Companies use age limits to promote turnover and assure investors that management is getting new ideas. Those goals may instead be achieved through term limits.

"You have to refresh the board, whether it's through term limits or through age limits," said Charles Elson, director of the University of Delaware's Center for Corporate Governance.

Murdoch is adding a venture capitalist in Breyer, who also serves on the boards of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Facebook Inc. Former News Corp. (NWSA) Group General Counsel Arthur Siskind, 72, is set to become the company's oldest director after Murdoch. News Corp.'s Natalie Bancroft, a 31-year-old opera singer, is the youngest director at an S&P 500 firm.

Bancroft, whose family sold Dow Jones & Co. to News Corp., was among 17 directors under 40 at the time of the most recent proxy filings, which were analyzed by Bloomberg. Mortimer Caplin of Danaher Corp. at 95 is the oldest of 10 directors over 85.

"It's a question of competence," said Caplin, who served as commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service from 1961 to 1964, in an interview. "In a way, I feel age is irrelevant."

Click here to read more about companies and their aging boards.


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