3 Prominent CEOs in Their 30s You Should Know

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Richard Drew/APSpencer Rascoff, 38, is CEO of Zillow.
Traditionally, the executive suite hasn't been the domain of young people. But the increasingly disruptive influence of tech companies over the past few decades has changed that. Today, some of the most high-profile CEOs are under-40 techies like Facebook's (FB) Mark Zuckerberg and Yahoo's (YHOO) Marissa Mayer.

They aren't alone. Here are three youthful execs leading prominent companies.

Daniel Schwartz, Burger King Worldwide (BKW)

Daniel Schwartz, a mere 34 years old, came to Burger King via its majority shareholder, investment firm 3G Capital, where he was a partner. He was named Burger King's CEO in June 2013, after starting there as its deputy CFO and executive vice president in late 2010.

As CEO, Schwartz has overseen a revamp of the company's menu, successfully bringing back the sizable Big King burger (although the low-calorie Satisfries didn't prove popular and were dropped).

Schwartz is also leading the charge in acquisition. This past August, Burger King inked a deal to acquire Canadian doughnut and coffee chain Tim Hortons (THI). The CEO, apparently, isn't afraid of criticism -- the announcement sparked controversy that Burger King's main reason for the move was to reduce its tax burden by transforming into a foreign company.

But the deal has plenty of momentum behind it. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) (BRK-B) CEO Warren Buffett is helping to finance the $11 billion deal by purchasing $3 billion worth of Burger King's preferred shares.

Lyndon Rive, SolarCity (SCTY)

If 37-year-old Lyndon Rive and his family are any indication, the entrepreneurial spirit blossoms inside a person's DNA. Rive, the co-founder and chief executive of SolarCity, is a first cousin of high-profile Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO and SolarCity's chairman Elon Musk.

Like Musk, Rive has pushed his firm to the forefront of its sector. SolarCity, which began life in 2007, now commands over one-third of U.S. residential solar market share. Unfortunately, that hasn't yet translated into consistent profitability, with the company usually posting a bottom-line annual loss.

However, revenue has been growing robustly, from nearly $33 million in 2009 to almost nearly $164 million in 2013. And the company's stock, despite a recent pullback from its all-time high, still trades at around six times the $8-per-share price of its 2012 initial public offering.

Rive's team has demonstrated some imagination and creativity, traits not normally associated with top executives. Late last year, SolarCity floated the world's first issue of solar asset bonds, borrowings that are to be paid from the revenue from the leases and sales of the company's renewable energy equipment.

Rive founded his first company when he was 17, making him a veteran of the corporate world in spite of his relatively tender years.

Spencer Rascoff, Zillow (Z)

Are you looking to buy a home? If so, you've probably come across an asset managed by 38-year-old Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow.

And it's getting larger. This past July, it shook hands on a deal to buy rival Internet property marketplace Trulia (TRLA) for $3.5 billion worth of stock. The transaction is expected to close next year.

That's the latest milestone in Rascoff's eventful four-year reign as CEO. In 2011, he was at the helm when the company went public in a hot IPO that saw its shares rise almost 80 percent from their $20 issue price on the first day of trading. Although the stock has cooled since the Trulia acquisition, it most recently trading hands at just over $105 per share.

Rascoff spent much of his youth establishing and developing companies. In 1999 he co-founded online travel deal portal Hotwire, which was purchased by Internet conglomerate IAC (IACI) for nearly $700 million in 2003. It is currently under the wing of another former IAC asset, Expedia (EXPE).

Motley Fool contributor Eric Volkman owns shares of Facebook, which is headed by 30-year-old CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Facebook, SolarCity, Tesla Motors, Yahoo and Zillow. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
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