CEO succession planning is a critical exercise for any organization. And yet, experience clearly demonstrates that many companies fail to successfully handle the transition from one CEO to the next. What are the causes of this breakdown? We examine the challenges of a careful, deliberate, and well-scripted succession through the example of The Walt Disney Company.
- Why is it so difficult for some companies to find a successor to the outgoing CEO?
- When is it better for a company to select a successor who carries forward the strengths of a predecessor, and when is it better to promote someone different?
- How can a board maintain control of the process, while still leveraging the expertise, insight, and judgment of the outgoing CEO?
- How difficult is the CEO job of a typical, large multinational corporation?
- Does the high pay that CEOs receive reflect a limited supply of talent, or governance breakdowns that impede the proper evaluation of talent?
- Under what circumstances is it the right decision to bring back a former CEO?