Searching for a new CEO? Here are 20 questions for your board to ask about CEO succession

When it is necessary to replace the CEO, directors must ask some tough questions. This 40-page guide provides 20 important questions you need to ask when carrying out this key board responsibility.

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Less than half of all CEOs leave the job due to planned retirement. The unexpected loss of a CEO presents a significant risk to any organization. Is your board ready for this kind of disruption? Do you know what to do and what to expect? What can you do to ensure a smooth transition of leadership?

Most directors will deal with CEO succession

In 20 Questions Directors Should Ask about CEO Succession, board consultants Peter Stephenson and Guy M. Beaudin have written a concise, easy-to-read introduction to an issue of key importance that is likely to be faced by most directors. 

This is not a checklist. It’s a detailed tool designed to provide insight into what is both a key board responsibility and one of its greatest opportunities to influence the performance and future direction of the organization.

Understand the elements needed to plan a sound CEO succession process with clearly articulated roles, including how to:

  • assess a CEO’s leadership range and the red flags that will tell you when it’s time to make a change
  • form a CEO search committee
  • avoid common mistakes when selecting a new CEO
  • determine whether it’s best to select and groom internal candidates or look outside the organization
  • consider steps to avoid choosing the wrong candidate
  • integrate a new CEO into the company

This document also looks at special circumstances, such as dealing with a sudden CEO vacancy or managing succession issues in a family-owned business.

This publication is reviewed annually for relevance and accuracy.