Succession Planning at the Highest Level

by BLR, February 18th, 2011.

Approximately 98 percent of corporate leaders surveyed by the Korn/Ferry Institute in an executive survey said that they regard CEO succession planning as an important element of overall corporate governance.

The survey report states, “Recent changes in federal regulation concerning CEO succession disclosure rules have changed the outlook of organizations considering the importance of CEO succession planning.” The survey results note, however, that only 48 percent of the respondents said that CEO succession planning is more important than it was in the past, and 51 percent said that it has always been important.

Joe Griesedieck, vice chairman and managing director of Korn/Ferry Board and CEO Services Practice, commented, “ Given the number of abrupt, high-profile executive departures this year, it’s surprising that more companies are not acting with greater urgency to put a CEO succession plan in place. In today’s environment, succession planning should be a part of any company’s standard approach to governance.”

The survey included executive respondents from 60 countries, representing a wide spectrum of industries and functional areas, according to Korn/Ferry. The survey resultsare available in a PDF format.

A white paper published by the Korn/Ferry Institute in September 2010 titled, “The corporate director and succession planning: Nine points to consider when preparing for SEC Bulletin 14E,” written by James W. Peters, will shed more light on succession planning at the highest levels of the organization, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s and Korn/Ferry’s recommendations.

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