gray matter

n.
Older, experienced executives hired by start-up firms in an effort to make the firms appear more established.
Example Citation:
"Remember it was computer people who coined the term 'gray matter' — older employees who are hired specifically because of their years, in order to add credibility to the enterprise."
— Mark Nelson and Dale Dauten, "The Shots You Don't Take," The New York Post, October 4, 1998
Notes:
These individuals are also known as gray hairs or no hairs:
"But in 2001, an 'old school' emphasis on improving the efficiency of operations and locating customers with deep pockets is back in vogue, and a tech company's investors breathe a sigh of relief when a 'gray hair' (or a 'no hair') CEO is in charge."
— Scott Kirsner, "Downturn dictionary," The Boston Globe, November 12, 2001
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  • gray matter — gray′ mat ter n. 1) anat. a reddish gray nerve tissue of the brain and spinal cord, consisting chiefly of nerve cell bodies, with few nerve fibers Compare white matter 2) Informal. brains or intellect …   From formal English to slang

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