Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

CEO Succession: It’s a Process, Not a Plan

As the saying goes, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” In the case of succession, an unexpected CEO vacancy can throw even a healthy organization into disarray.

After thorough assessment, viable internal candidates should be identified according to those competencies and should be provided detailed development plans. Additionally, interaction between those internal candidates and the board should increase, providing the board first-hand visibility and experience. Benchmarking internal candidates against the market is critical and may result in recruiting externally to strengthen the bench. If this information is consistently reviewed, the board is able to act quickly and confidently in the event of an unanticipated transition.

Defined Roles
Several people, and groups of people, play critical roles in the CEO succession process. The Nominating/Governance Committee is responsible for managing the overall process. With a planned succession, the board and CEO share responsibility until one year from the anticipated transition, at which point the board assumes sole responsibility. At the appropriate times, the HR, Legal and Communications departments play key roles in candidate assessment and development, regulatory filings and announcements, respectively.

The bottom line is, transitioning from one CEO to the next is a complex matter, particularly when a board is faced with unpredictable circumstances such as McDonald’s. An ongoing process, starting immediately after a new CEO is appointed and reviewed every six months, will benefit an organization immensely. Effective succession planning is no longer expected, it is required.

As recent history proves, boards will be held publicly accountable for succession success or failure. The board’s ability to calmly and quickly appoint the right successor will propel the company forward with confidence.

 


MORE LIKE THIS

  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events

    Roundtable

    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)

     

    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.