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Strategic CEO Succession and the role of the board

BY: SGI|6 October 2020
BLOG| My future career, Effective Directorship

The Conference Board, in collaboration with Heidrick & Struggles, released the CEO Succession Practices: 2019 Edition towards the end of 2019. The report reviews succession event announcements of chief executive officers made at S&P 500 companies in 2018 and the previous 17 years, and is complemented by results from a 2019 survey of corporate secretaries, general counsel, and investor relations officers on the succession oversight practices of their boards. A number of interesting findings and practices are highlighted in the report, such as:

  • #MeToo-related departures were a key factor in the 2018 increase of the S&P 500 CEO succession rate.
  • Nonvoluntary CEO departures reached in 2018 levels not seen in almost two decades, further widening the gap with the rate of CEO exits from better performers and exposing business leaders who fail to achieve performance thresholds
  • For only the third time in the past 18 years, the number of CEO positions held by women in the S&P 500 has declined, marked by the departure of four female CEOs and the addition of only one
  • Smaller companies continue to lag behind in CEO succession planning, with at least one-third of respondents to The Conference Board survey placing it on the board agenda only when an emergency arises and more than two-thirds reporting a decrease in the frequency of the plan review over the last few years.

Victor is a Partner and Founder of The Board Practice, a company that focuses on Board, Chairman and Director effectiveness in all areas of board operations internationally, with a presence in South Africa, Norway, the Netherlands, Greece and Singapore. His focus is on the softer issues of performance, such as leadership, culture and interaction in the boardroom. 

He is an experienced leader and leadership adviser and has supported a wide range of companies in the areas of leadership evaluation & development, succession, cultural transformation and team effectiveness. This is complemented by strong expertise in the link between strategy implementation and leadership.  

Join us for an interesting discussion at our next Directors' Hour on Thursday, 8 October 2020 at 12h30 on the topic of Strategic CEO Succession and the role of the board in this regard with a stalwart and veteran in the field, Dr Victor Prozesky.  

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