Overview

CEO succession planning is initiated by the board to ensure a smooth transition between outgoing and incoming CEOs and to minimize disruption in the organization at large. Ideally, the process should begin two to three years prior to the CEO’s planned retirement, first by developing an adequate and active pipeline of candidates from which to select a successor and then by developing a short list of candidates within a year or so of the incumbent CEO’s retirement. The choice of whether to promote from within or to introduce an outsider can be pivotal but not always easy to determine. Research suggests that initially internal candidates perform better, but that this factor decreases in importance as the CEO’s tenure increases.