Tag: CEO succession planning

Leadership survey: How prepared are leaders to face key business issues? Do executives think boards give good advice?

While it’s certainly not yet in the rear-view mirror, as we start to see COVID-19 begin to fade as an all-consuming crisis for business—thank you science and scientists!—what are the next issues that corporate leaders must face and how ready are they to face them? Consultant Russell Reynolds Associates has just released its 2021 Global Leadership Monitor​, designed to track top business issues and monitor leadership preparedness.  Some of the more interesting findings: In terms of “stakeholder capitalism,” while customers are top of the heap, employees come in second as key stakeholders—ahead of stockholders.   Most fascinating perhaps is this revelation: 40% of CEOs and other C-Suite executives “don’t believe the executive team receives good advice and input from the board.”

Succession is not just a great TV show

Succession—it’s not just a great TV show.  (And when does the new season start?) As this article in Corporate Board Member contends, selecting the next CEO “is often the single most important decision a board will make, yet between a quarter and a third of companies don’t have a succession plan in place—and even those who do often get it wrong.” Survey data in this post from Russell Reynolds Associates revealed that, even in the face of the pandemic, over 60% of responding directors “stated that their board had not reviewed or updated the succession plan for the CEO and other key executives in light of the health risks posed by the COVID-19 crisis.”  Moreover, 70% of the largest companies (annual revenue of $10 billion and over) had not reviewed the CEO succession plan. The post reports that the need to replace a poor CEO selection has been estimated to lead “to a loss of $1.7 billion in shareholder value in addition to a loss of organizational confidence and momentum.” Not a good look.  Why does this happen? According to an article from PwC, it’s often because “just having the conversation is difficult.”

Preparing for the possibility that the CEO tests positive

Given the pervasiveness of COVID-19, one issue that boards have had to face is what to do if the CEO or other executive critical to business continuity is suddenly taken ill or required to self-isolate because of exposure to the virus.  What about succession planning? How should the absence be communicated?  A couple of recent pieces from prominent consultants provide some guidance on these issues.

PwC survey of directors showed skepticism on the benefits of shareholder engagement, critical views of some board colleagues and gender splits on board diversity

by Cydney Posner In its annual survey released Tuesday of more than 800 corporate directors, PwC identified ten key findings, including critical views on other board members, split views on board diversity and skeptical views on the benefits of shareholder engagement. Of the directors surveyed, in 2016, 35% thought that at least […]