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Governance: Evaluating Potential CEO Successors


Sample Client Issue:
Assessing Potential CEO Successors

A strong and capable Board was divided regarding the appropriateness of the most probable successor to its CEO, who was two years from retirement. Despite the openness of Board governance processes and working relationships with the CEO, the Board sought outside help for an objective evaluation of the top management team to assess several potential candidates before looking to outside recruitment.

A large retail corporation needed to accelerate the readiness of a senior merchant to advance two levels in the organization, to the position of corporate CEO, within two years. An assessment of his capabilities against the Board's succession criteria identified that his basic leadership capabilities were strong. The priorities for his development included evolving to a manager of multiple businesses, learning and assuming responsibility for corporate functions, developing his own merchandising successor, and becoming immersed in long-lead-time corporate activities including strategic planning, budgeting, new ventures interaction, and interaction with the financial commmunity. The plan developed by Corlund in conjunction with the client's executives defined activities, responsibilities, and timeframes that allowed the candidate to meet the requirements almost a year earlier than anticipated. A comparable approach was later applied to successfully transition a successor to allow the retirement of the President of the largest operating division.

Related Client Issue:
CEO Succession

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