Data plays a growing role in decision-making, with CEOs looking for hard information that can help them allocate investments, understand customers and shape strategy. Now, a new research-based tool, the CEO1000 Tracker, applies the data-driven approach to another subject—CEOs themselves.
The CEO1000 tracker is a collaborative effort of Chief Executive Group and RHR International, a premier firm in the development of top management leadership of Global 1000 companies. In essence, the tracker brings together information about CEOs at the largest public and private companies—their education, work history, salary, etc. It also includes data about their companies, such as revenue, share price and profit history. Using this data, the tracker will provide “actionable information and connect to meaningful outcomes, metrics and issues that CEOs care about—insights that can be applied in the organization and the management team, for everything from development to succession planning,” said Dr. Paul Winum, senior partner, practice leader, Board and CEO Services, at RHR International.
The tracker is designed to fill some significant gaps. “There is a lot of misinformation out there about the CEOs who run the largest organizations,” said Wayne Cooper, executive chairman of Chief Executive Group. “For example, when discussing CEO compensation, most media sources quote ‘average CEO compensation’ figures based only on 350 of the largest companies that report early.” Or coverage often cites trends in limited CEO segments such as those from the S&P 500, and thus exclude private firms and firms from certain industries. “We felt there was value in tracking the 1,000 largest companies, regardless of whether they were public or private or what industries they are in, to get insights into who is leading these organizations, how CEOs from various backgrounds perform versus their peers and other important trends,” he said.
The data will be analyzed on an ongoing basis to uncover links between executive qualities and performance. For example, which schools have CEOs at higher-performing companies attended? How does performance compare when CEOs come from inside the company versus outside? How does company performance correlate to CEO tenure? And so on.
The data also will provide a starting point for more in-depth discussions from RHR International and Chief Executive. “RHR was an ideal partner for this,” said Cooper. “They have deep expertise in CEO succession planning and executive coaching, great research capabilities and a very sophisticated, nuanced perspective to assess the backgrounds, personality traits and skill sets likely to lead to success in various situations. These capabilities are very valuable for analyzing the data and drawing out the lessons and insights that CEOs, boards and other executives can learn from.” For its part, Chief Executive draws on its long experience as an executive information source, and its relationships with more than 120,000 CEOs.
With its combination of hard data and experience-based insight, the tracker is designed to provide practical perspectives for CEOs. “This kind of information can help CEOs as they hire people, nurture leaders and plan succession,” said Dr. Winum. “And it can help CEOs understand the kind of top executives that make a difference as leaders of the enterprise.”