Inside CEO SuccessionThe Essential Guide to Leadership Transition
A comprehensive guide to planning for CEO succession, from the experts at RHR As the demands from stakeholders for consummate leadership and good governance from a company's board of directors, its CEO, and its executive team increase, how the process of CEO succession is carried out has become more critical than ever before. Yet, over the past several years, a growing number of CEOs have failed early in their terms, often with devastating consequences to their companies and stockholders. By far the most common problem is a lack of ownership of the CEO succession process. Inside CEO Succession provides businesses, leaders, and boards with the strategies they need to execute their responsibilities with a heightened level of professionalism and ensure the sustained success of the companies they serve. Written by Dr. Thomas J. Saporito, CEO of RHR International, and Dr. Paul Winum, Senior Partner of RHR International, the lessons of Inside CEO Succession are rooted in RHR's long-standing history of bringing expert knowledge, experience, advice, and counsel to the issues related to CEO succession. The culmination of RHR's 65 years of experience providing expert counsel to the boards of directors of hundreds of companies, it explains how ego, role-relationships, power, and human dynamics associated with relinquishing leadership, preparing successors, and ceding power and authority to other people create undetected problems in the succession process and ultimately cause many CEOs to fail early in their tenures. Distills RHR's 65 years of experience helping businesses deal with CEO succession into one practical resource Presents strategies to enable boards to understand their role in succession planning and how to source leadership that best fits their organization's culture and requirements Brings together business acumen and psychological insight to help readers better prepare for more effective CEO succession To be successful, CEO succession requires a well-defined course of action that ensures that a number of highly capable candidates are ready to assume the chief executive position whether through an unexpected event or a planned transition. Inside CEO Succession is designed to help boards comprehensively manage that process and effectively sustain their company's profitability.
Acknowledgments xiii Foreword: Douglas R. Conant, former CEO of Campbell Soup Company xv Introduction 1 Part I: Why CEO Succession Is More Critical than Ever 5 Chapter 1: From Checkers to 3-D Chess 7 Chapter 2: Success or Failure—The Cause and Cost 21 Chapter 3: Whose Job Is It, Anyway? 39 Chapter 4: RHR’s Essential Point of View 55 Part II: The 10 Key Dimensions of Effective Succession 71 Chapter 5: Establish Board Ownership, Involvement, and Oversight 73 Chapter 6: Set Succession Time Frames 89 Chapter 7: Prepare for Emergencies 105 Chapter 8: Align on Strategy and Profile 119 Chapter 9: Build the Talent Pipeline 131 Chapter 10: Source External Talent and Manage Search Firms 145 Chapter 11: Select the CEO 157 Chapter 12: Proactively Manage the Transition 169 Chapter 13: Measure Performance and Improve Process 187 Chapter 14: Manage the Dynamics in CEO Succession 197 Epilogue: Perspectives on the Future 205 Appendix: Ten Questions a Director Should Ask 213 About RHR International 219 References 221 Index 229
Dr. Thomas J. Saporito (Chicago) Ed.D., is chairman and CEO of RHR International. Widely recognized as an expert in CEO succession, he has specialized over the past 30 years in consulting with CEOs, boards of directors, and senior management on succession planning and top management leadership. He works closely with chief executives and senior management on accelerating business strategies by strengthening individual leadership and team-based performance. A former member of the NACD Blue Ribbon Commission on CEO Succession, his career has taken him throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Dr. Paul C. Winum (Atlanta, GA) Ph.D., is a senior partner with RHR International and serves as global practice leader–CEO Succession. He is a regular contributor to articles published in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and Forbes. In 2007, he was awarded specialty board certification in Organizational and Business Consulting Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology and was elected as a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.
CEO succession is more critical today than ever before as the global business environment now demands far greater leadership and governance from a company's board of directors, its CEO, and its executive team. Yet, over the past several years, we have witnessed a growing number of CEOs failing early in their terms, and in many instances, with devastating consequences to their companies and stockholders. There are a number of reasons for such a high failure rate in leadership, although the one cause common to almost every failed leadership transition is the lack of ownership of the CEO succession process. RHR, which as a firm is comprised entirely of consulting psychologists, understands the unrevealed realities of human behavior and motivation, such as factors of ego, role-relationships, power, and human dynamics associated with relinquishing leadership, preparing successors, and ceding power and authority to other people. These often-overlooked phenomena create undetected problems in the succession process and ultimately cause many CEOs to fail early in their tenures. To be effective, CEO succession requires a well-defined course of action that ensures a supply of highly capable candidates are ready to assume the chief executive position whether through an unexpected event or a planned transition. Inside CEO Succession is offered to help boards comprehensively manage that process and effectively sustain their company's success. Dr. Thomas J. Saporito, CEO of RHR International, and Dr. Paul Winum, senior partner of RHR International, have authored a seminal work that expertly combines years of business practice with a deep comprehension of human and organizational behavior and motivation, making Inside CEO Succession a highly informed work that blends business acumen and psychological insight.
"One of the most important tasks (some would argue that it is the single most important role) of any board is CEO succession. Inside CEO Succession offers an essential guide to a process that, as the authors point out, is 'fundamental to the success or failure of a company.'"— Douglas N. Daft, former chairman and CEO, Coca Cola Company; director, McGraw Hill Companies and Walmart "An excellent book that highlights, and provides concrete examples of, the importance of managing both the interpersonal and psychological dynamics inherent in succession planning for today's company . . . a recommended read for anyone who touches the talent succession process."— Ajay Banga, president and CEO, MasterCard Worldwide; director, Kraft Foods; former chairman and CEO, Citigroup International Global Consumer Group "Nothing matters more to a company than the selection of its next CEO. However, too many boards continue to treat CEO succession as a one-time event addressed only in the case of an emergency. Tom Saporito and Paul Winum provide a practical guide to board members by outlining the process involved in developing a seamless, thoughtful, and successful CEO succession program."— James M. Kilts, former CEO, Gillette and Kraft/Nabisco; chairman, Nielsen Holdings N.V.; director, Pfizer, Inc., Del Monte Foods, MeadWestavco, and Metlife ?"While other books have been written on the science of CEO succession, Tom Saporito and Paul Winum go beyond the 'how-to' and capture the subtleties and nuances that turn the process from an academic exercise into a practical art form. Inside CEO Succession is an excellent read and an essential addition to your business library."— Robert Morrison, former vice-chairman, PepsiCo; former president and CEO, Quaker Oats;?director, 3M, Aon, and Illinois Tool Works "Tom Saporito and Paul Winum have taken the discussion in a whole new direction, outlining the process and supporting it with best practices that truly enhance shareholder value by facilitating seamless leadership transition at the top of the house. It's these kinds of insights that Tom and Paul bring, making Inside CEO Succession a must-read for boards, chief executives, and future CEOs."— Robert Lawless, former chairman, McCormick and Company; director, Exelon Corporation and The Baltimore Life Insurance Company
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