Why Boards Should Be Identifying CEOs Earlier In The Game


Corporate Board Member | August 5, 2018

The Corporate Board Member article, “Why Boards Should Be Identifying CEOs Earlier In The Game," interviewed Russell Reynolds Associates CEO Clarke Murphy discussing the importance of multi-dimensional CEOs and seeking out potential successors early on. The article is excerpted below.

The economy is growing, technology and other disruptions are proliferating, and the roles of CEOs are getting more demanding. So board members must do a better job of hiring for the C-suite, with a broader list of criteria and a longer-term horizon in mind.

That’s how Clarke Murphy feels about things, anyway. And by signing up for his approach to C-suite recruitment and succession planning, boards of directors are validating the approach being advanced by the CEO of Russell Reynolds Associates, one of the globe’s leading executive-search firms.

Russell Reynolds recently has been changing its search process to adapt to and lead this new reality, Murphy said.

“We’re conducting deeper succession processes for the entire C-suite and actually the entire organization,” he told Corporate Board Member. “We’re helping boards make succession a governance priority, not just the realm of the CEO as it has been. Boards now are focusing on CEO succession and are becoming equal partners with CEOs on C-suite succession.”

Before the Great Recession, Murphy said, his firm, the entire executive-search industry, and their clients generally assessed CEO candidates as strong if they could bring superior performance in particular ways. “You had the visionary, for instance, or the cost-cutter,” he said.

But now, Murphy explained, “We’re advising our clients that they need to assess their CEO candidates on multiple levels, to determine whether they’re going to be able to succeed in a world of rapid change rather than the more one-dimensional approaches of old.

To read the full article, click here.

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Why Boards Should Be Identifying CEOs Earlier In The Game