Who We Are

YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) connects successful young chief executives in a global network unlike any other. Founded in 1950 in New York City by a young president named Ray Hickok, the organization today unites approximately 22,000 business leaders in more than 125 countries around a shared mission: Better Leaders Through Education and Idea Exchange™.

A great deal has changed since YPO’s founding, but certain things have remained the same: the value of a peer network and trusted mentors, the importance of ongoing education, and the need for a “safe haven” where issues can be aired in an environment of confidentiality.

Members say that YPO has a profound, often life-changing, effect on their lives, reflecting what Ray Hickok noted in 1950: “YPO is first, last and always a uniquely personal experience.”

Fast facts

Founded: 1950
Qualifying age: under 45
Qualifying title: CEO, President, Chairman, Managing Director (or equivalent)
Number of members: 22,000 (YPO and WPO)
Number of local chapters: more than 400
Number of countries: more than 125

YPO: Key Milestones
1950 Ray Hickok founds the Young Presidents’ Organization in New York.
1951 YPO welcomes its first female member, Elsie Frankfurt, president of Page Boy Fashions, in Texas.
1961 The Europe Chapter becomes the first chapter outside North America. Chapters in Japan, Mexico and the Caribbean follow.
2000 YPO members celebrate YPO’s 50th year at an Anniversary Summit with notable speakers including Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan; Jack Welch, CEO of the General Electric Company; and Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
2006 YPO welcomes its 10,000th member, from the Shanghai Chapter
2007 YPO merges with WPO (World Presidents’ Organization) to create the premier lifelong leadership network. Membership grows to more than 16,000 members in 100 countries.
2009 YPO launches YPO Global Pulse, a quarterly economic confidence index designed to share member perspectives on the economy and provide insight into emerging business opportunities around the world.
  YPO elects its first female international chairman.
2010 Founded in 2006, the Deal Network becomes YPO-WPO’s first Global Business Network. Today, 25 percent of all members are in the network, which helps members make deals, maximize mergers and acquisitions success, and finance new business ventures.
2011 For the first time, non-U.S. members become the majority, a demographic transformation that continues to globalize the organization.
2012 The YPO-Harvard program celebrates its 60th anniversary.
  YPO-WPO holds its annual Global Leadership Conference in Asia for the first time and unites more than 2,500 members for the largest gathering in the organization’s history.
  YPO announces an exclusive media partnership with CNBC and establishes “Chief Executive Networks” in the Americas, Europe/Middle East/ Africa and Asia-Pacific.
2013 With more than 2,500 active members, the Real Estate Industry Network is designated as a YPO-WPO Global Business Network.
2014 The 2014 Global EDGE in Los Angeles becomes YPO’s largest-ever conference with 3,000 attendees.
  The Women’s YPO Network, which brings together YPO and WPO female chief executives, welcomes its 1,000th member.
  YPO-WPO celebrates the 40th anniversary of forum, the most highly valued asset of membership, offering open, honest exchange for members, spouses, partners and young adult children.
  The organization’s first international chairman from Asia takes office 1 July.