NACD Nominating and Governance Committee Chair Advisory Council: The Board's Role in a New CEO Transition

In brief: The transition period marked by the departure of one CEO and the arrival of another is one of the most important in setting up the incoming CEO for success. On March 13, 2018, NACD, Heidrick & Struggles, and Sidley Austin LLP co-hosted a meeting of the NACD Nominating and Governance Committee Chair Advisory Council to discuss the board’s role in successful leadership transitions. From the dialogue, the following key recommendations emerged:

  • Clarify the transition timeline for the incoming CEO and that of the departing CEO.
  • Recognize that relationship-building takes time and plan accordingly.
  • Develop a unified view among board members of performance objectives for the new CEO in their first 12-18 months.
  • Take advantage of 360-degree reviews as a key transition tool.

How boards can use this resource:

  • Identify components of an effective CEO transition plan.
  • Design and execute plans to help a newly appointed CEO succeed.
  • Gauge the performance of a newly installed CEO as well as progress towards established goals

Most relevant audiences: nominating and governance committee members, board chair, lead independent director, CEO