Heidrick & Struggles: Considerations For Emergency CEO Successions

Many boards have some kind of emergency CEO succession plan in place. But the current crisis sharpens the need to be sure that plan is updated and can be executed swiftly; it also raises some unique considerations for both boards and incoming CEOs.

Considerations for boards

Until now, boards have generally focused on planned CEO successions, working with the CEO to develop successors—in the nearer term, developing appropriate candidates from his or her direct reports and keeping a close eye on best-in-class candidates on the outside for benchmarking, and in the longer term, focusing on developing next-generation successors. As part of this overall approach, most boards have identified someone who could step in an emergency.

But the possibility of having to invoke this choice remained somewhat remote for most boards. Until now.

Lee Hanson and John S. Wood consultants from Heidrick & Struggles offer several considerations that will help boards ensure they have the best-equipped emergency CEO successor, should the need arise.

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