Booz & Company recently published its 12th annual CEO Succession Survey. It’s fascinating reading:
- As the economy gets stronger, the numbers of CEOs leaving their jobs are rising to pre-recession rates
- CEO turnover is highest at the largest companies
- CEO turnover is highest in market sectors that face the most challenges
- Outsider CEOs returned to historical averages
- Insider CEOs bring higher returns
- Insider CEOs serve longer
- The combined chairman-CEO model continues to decline
With average CEO tenure declining, the survey’s data are clear that new CEOs – whether they come from the inside or the outside – are under historically high pressure to perform quickly. (Can you say Leo Apotheker?) And concerned boards are more frequently appointing the outgoing CEO as board chairman to provide a sort of “apprenticeship” experience in the early months of a new CEO’s tenure. Interesting stuff.
This year, the study focused on the new CEO’s first year. Booz & Co. interviewed a number of CEOs from around the world and asked their advice for incoming CEOs. There were 7 common recommendations:
- Deal with the obvious executive team changes as early as possible
- Be wary of changing strategy too quickly, even if you think the current strategy is wrong
- Make sure you understand how every part of the company operates and how it is performing
- Build trust though transparency
- Be selective in listening to advice
- Find a sparring partner with whom you can discuss plans openly
- Manage your time and your personal life with care
The survey provides a great deal of background data and commentary on these 7 “tips” for succeeding as a new CEO — and I encourage you read it. But I’m thinking this is great advice for any new executive at any level.
And I’m really thinking this list is great coaching for HR.