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Grade School CEO
A very simple trope. One of the top officers of the Mega Corp.
happens to be far younger than should be permissible. Examples should be earlier than 12th grade, which is just young enough that it seems implausible. Often the age is justified by the fact that their parents owned the controlling interest in the company, so ownership of it fell to them upon their death.
This is only possible under Artistic License – Law
where the setting is Like Reality Unless Noted
, as minors (especially those under the age of 12) in most developed nations cannot sign contracts or hold employment. When a parent dies, leaving control of major assets to their child or children, a Trust or Conservatorship is created to manage the assets and look after the best interest of the child.
Subtrope of Improbable Age
. Related to A Child Shall Lead Them
, where the kid is the ruler of a country. (The two may overlap if the company is an N.G.O. Superpower
.) May overlap with Adorably Precocious Child
Anime and Manga
- The little girl, Susie, in this Verizon commercial. She uses her father's cell phone to turn her lemonade stand into a thriving corporate business.
- The baby from the E*Trade commercials who acts as a hyper-competent stock guru.
- This seems pretty popular in advertising. In the UK, a series of TV ads for Velvet toilet paper have featured a computer-animated baby as managing director of a company producing that product, lecturing the adult staff on its qualities. The effect is a bit weird.
- Commercials for Haribo gummy bears feature three small children as the leaders of the company.
- Imonoyama Nokoru from Clamp School Detectives, the son of the Imonoyama zaibatsu, is the student council president of the elementary school brunch of a very elite school in which the student council acts almost like the directors of the school. And he also was said to be the head of physics department in his family business.
- Seto Kaiba in Yu-Gi-Oh!. He won Kaiba Corp from his step-dad when he was a child, and turned it from a weapons-manufacturer to the major provider of the game's central Children's Card Game.
- Sort-of averted in the first series anime, where the iconic "wrest control of Kaiba Corp from Gozaburo" scene takes place not during a flashback, but in present day, where Kaiba is presumably older and of proper age to run the company.
- Sort-of averted in all the incarnations really since it's stated that Kaiba won Kaiba Corp 6 years after his adoption at age 10 (or 12 for dub viewers). On screen or off screen, he was around 16 (or 18) when he became the CEO. Still young, but not as bad.
- Ciel Phantomhive from Black Butler is the head of a massive toy and candy company and only 12 years old. He inherited them after the deaths of his wealthy parents.
- In Megaman NT Warrior, 12-year-old Enzan Ijuuin is the vice-president of the IPC hardware company.
- Rental Magica has both Astral and Goetia assigned very youngs 'heirs by blood' — and in case of Astral, magically inept boy who had to learn on the fly — as acting presidents after disappearance of their old bosses. Justified, as in both cases the alternatives were either worse or unavailable.
- Watta Takeo from the old Super Robot series Trider G7.
- Natsu Tanimoto (aka Hermit) in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple was one when he was younger, due to his adopted father dying and leaving him with control of the company. In a rather cruel but realistic twist, the company's managers and lawyers immediately conspired together to trick the young Tanimoto into signing over control of the company and its assets to them. It's implied that this stopped soon after Tanimoto was taken in by "The Great Sage Fist", as he's still fairly wealthy at the time of the series.
- Masako Natsume in Mawaru-Penguindrum, who turns out to be the same age as the protagonists.
- Richie Rich, possibly. In the film version, at least, he has substantial power within his parents' company.
- The villains of X-Men: Schism are a quartet of obscenely rich kids around 12 years old, the leader of whom takes over for his late father as CEO of the company that manufactures Sentinels.
- Little Big League: Preteen boy becomes owner of the Minnesota Twins.
- The Kid From Left Field: Preteen baseball manager.
- As mentioned earlier, Richie Rich.
- 101 Dalmatians: It's a kid who has the final say on the approval (or rejection) of the game Roger tried to pitch to the company.
- The Brainiacs Dot Com: Two kids (using investors' money) bought controlling interest of a toy manufacturing company. Trouble arises when the authorities made inquires about the microchip the kids told their investors the money would be used to develop.
- Ender, from Orson Scott Card's Ender’s Game, is a very young fleet commander. Justified, as he was specifically chosen by the government before he was even bornnote , then educated in a system of schools whose very purpose is turning out little admirals and generals, and finally commanded his great campaign under the impression that it was all a simulation.
- Dinosaurs: when Earl becomes a TV Network Executive, one show he greenlights is "Baby Cuddlebunny, M.D." It's supposed to be "Dr. Kirk Marcus, M.D." but Earl decides to make a baby the star.
- A Bit Character from an early NCIS episode was shown having his own roving nightclub. When a victim is found dead during a party, the team tracks down the owner...to his high school. During the conversation, he lists a bunch of business practices he uses to stay profitable, including subcontracting out the technical work to avoid paying health insurance by himself and having automatic drink dispensers to keep costs predictable. Tony figures that after expenses, the kid clears over $10,000 a night. When they ask about the bouncer on duty that night (the real reason they're there), he whips out a smartphone and Boom! Home number, cell number, business number, and email, just like that.
- The eponymous character of True Jackson VP, a 15-year-old who is the Vice President of youth apparel at a fashion company.
- In the Korean Drama High School King of Savvy, the main character has to impersonate his older brother, a high-ranking corporate executive 9 years his senior who looks exactly like him, while also attending high school.
- Ayla from the Whateley Universe. Only in his teens, and he already owns Marvel. Helps that he was being groomed by parents who ran a corportation. Still suffers from the Trust issue. Also, he independently PURCHASED marvel.
- The Simpsons: A show seen on TV is "Admiral Baby", about a baby in command of the Sixth Fleet.
- Another show they watch is "Supreme Courtney," about a Tween girl on the Supreme Court.
- The Jetsons: The CEO of Contempo Computers.
- DuckTales has Huey, Dewey, and Louie become the head of Scrooge's company after accident happened to Scrooge. Deconstruction as the boys' new ideas take a financial strain on the company, but later lampshaded it to the company board and everything goes back to normal.
- In an episode of Futurama, Dwight and Cubert start a paper route to get spending money, which quickly grows big enough for them to buy out Planet Express. Unfortunately, it turns out they're not very good at running a company...
- 14-year-old Sindhuja Rajaraman is the CEO of Seppan Company, an animation firm in Chennai, India.
- A legally-emancipated minor is eligible to operate a business or practice an occupation, independently from a parent's or guardian's influence.