WSJ: Chris Franklin, New Aqua America CEO, Epitomizes Younger Boss Trend

Chris Franklin
Chris Franklin Aqua America Ceo Vist.Today CHester County Business News
Chris Franklin.

A new kind of boss is infusing youth into corporate America, and this month’s new CEO of Bryn Mawr water utility Aqua America is a prime example of the influence Generation X is bringing to the executive suite.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook was born in 1960.–via

More tech savvy and prone to taking risks and reacting quickly, 50-year-old Christopher H. Franklin exemplifies the incoming priority on pouring youthful talent into company cubicles in order to help make the business more relevant to up-and-coming millennials.

“Talent acquisition and retention is a huge component of what [new CEOs] need to think about,” Franklin said in a recent report in The Wall Street Journal. “That is where you get to set the culture.”

With job hopping more frequent and corporate loyalty on the decline, Franklin’s style is more active involvement in talent management, including a focus on better work-life balance.

“On the day Aqua announced his promotion,” the article stated, “Mr. Franklin left the office for several hours so he could attend and celebrate his son’s eighth grade graduation. Aqua has commissioned a study to ‘figure out how we accommodate those (work-life) needs.’”

Read more about the trend toward Gen X bosses and their new perspective on talent management in The Wall Street Journal here, and check out previous VISTA Today coverage of Franklin’s recent promotion to Aqua America CEO here and a Q&A with him here.