Tag Archives: leadership transitions

Who Won the CEO Sweepstakes — Yahoo or Google? Why Losing Superstars Makes You Stronger

Marissa Mayer

Yesterday Yahoo announced the appointment of Google’s Marissa Mayer to the post of CEO. She will be Yahoo’s fifth CEO in the last 12 months. Most folks are saying that Yahoo may have finally got it right this time. Here is a question most people aren’t asking: “Why did Marissa Mayer leave Google?”

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Filed under Thoughts on Leadership

Five Essential Questions for Getting CEO Succession Right (#2)

This post is the second of a five-part series on best practices in CEO succession. The purpose of the series is to share some of the insights I’ve gained while helping companies manage the messy, sometimes confusing terrain of CEO succession. My role in the process is first to provide an outside perspective for boards and CEOs on their most talented leaders. Then I help them navigate the transition to the greatest benefit of the company and the individuals involved. Leadership transitions at the top are complex and can get personal, but they also provide a rare opportunity for companies to make a huge difference in their bottom line (in both directions!). Here’s the second question you should ask when trying to get it right.  

passing the baton

Question 2: Are Internal Candidates Better than External Candidates? Continue reading

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Filed under Governance

Five Essential Questions for Getting CEO Succession Right (#1)

In my last post, I introduced a five-part series on best practices in CEO succession. This post is the first of the five, and it focuses on the most basic, often perplexing question: “Who owns it?” If you didn’t see the first post, I recommend reading it. The purpose of the series is to share some of the insights I’ve gained while helping companies manage the messy, sometimes confusing terrain of CEO succession. My role in the process is first to provide an outside perspective for boards and CEOs on their most talented leaders. Then I help them navigate the transition to the greatest benefit of the company and the individuals involved. Leadership transitions at the top are complex and can get personal, but they also provide a rare opportunity for companies to make a huge difference in their bottom line (in both directions!). Here’s the first question you should ask when trying to get it right.

passing the baton

Question 1: Who Owns CEO Succession?

No one owns the entire process. When it’s done well, the roles of the board and the CEO are distinct, interlocking on just a few key steps. The board owns the decision about who the next CEO will be, but the CEO is responsible for providing valid assessments of internal candidates, and developing those candidates as leaders so the directors have good options. Here’s what the sequence might look like:

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