Alas, U.S. CEO Tenure Lengthening

June 08, 2007

Alas, U.S. CEO Tenure Lengthening

Thought I should not ignore the work that my team at Weber Shandwick does and should mention some new information we just released on CEO tenure. [Thank you Meghan Paul!] We found that among the upper echelon of the world’s most powerful CEOs, North American CEOs had longer tenures in 2006 than their European and Asia Pacific counterparts. In fact, the average tenure of departing North American CEOs was 8 years, 6 months versus 6 years, 9 months for European CEOs and 4 years, 3 months for Asia Pacific CEOs. Significantly, the tenure of North American CEOs increased 20 months from 2005. [The findings are based on CEO departures at the world’s 500 largest revenue-producing companies.]

The lengthening of North American CEO tenure bodes well for corporate America and possibly reflects better board selection and succession planning. For the largest companies in the world, an average tenure of nearly 6.5 years is a welcome sign of stability and strength. Longer North American tenures may also be attributed to a greater proportion of CEOs leaving in 2006 for normal reasons such as retirement, planned succession, promotion, political appointment or change in employer. In 2005, more North American CEOs left against their will than in 2006.

Good for us in the U.S. After several years of tough times for CEOs, it looks like we are settling down to some stability and certainty. That is good for the reputations of CEOs in the U. S.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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