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Succession Planning

24 February 2022

For any CEO, discussing plans for their successor can be a sensitive issue, but by failing to tackle this thorny issue boards could be placing organisations at significant risk.

One of the most common phrases cited around boards is that the their single most important duty is to ‘hire and fire the CEO’. Strong, progressive boards extend this to ‘hire and fire the CEO, oversee the performance of the CEO, support the CEO to excel for the organisation and ensure a clear, thoughtful CEO succession plan is in place’. The CEO’s leadership, performance and the example they set on culture has the greatest impact on the performance and long-term sustainable success of an organisation.

In the increasingly volatile and complex environment in which every organisation board finds itself, they must remember their critical corporate governance responsibility to ensure the organisation is always prepared for a CEO succession event, whether planned or un-planned. It is vital that the board partners genuinely with the CEO in this process and fully understands the natural sensitivities and concerns every CEO feels, no matter how experienced they are.

The transition of a CEO is a major event for an organisation with inherent risks – thoughtful CEO succession planning significantly de-risks the changeover and enables a seamless transition to a new CEO.

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