June 02, 2007
Surviving New CEOs
Harvard Business Review has a terrific article on best strategies for keeping your job when a new CEO arrives on the scene (May 2007). Surviving Your New CEO was written by Kevin Coyne and Edward Coyne (I guess they are related!). What’s striking is that when a new chief executive takes charge, the chances are high that executives will be packing their bags sooner than later. Most exiting executives find themselves leaving for lower-rung jobs elsewhere, jobs in smaller companies or at home on retirement leave. The choices are not pretty.
Here are some of the more startling facts:
1. When there is no CEO change, the average executive turnover is 15%.
2. When there is a new CEO from within the organization, the average executive turnover is 17%.
3. When there is a new CEO from outside the organization, the average executive turnover jumps to 25%.
Those young whipper snapper execs who think they stand a better chance of surviving a new CEO compared to their gray hair colleagues are wrong. Those under 52 years old are as likely as those over 52 years of age to get the boot. Ouch.
So how do you survive the changing of the guard at the top? Here is their advice: 1) Show your goodwill, leave your baggage at the door, study the CEO’s working style, present a realistic game plan, be at the top of your game, and offer objective options. Makes sense.
Another fact that I liked learning from their article was that CEOs don’t waste time picking their keepers and goners. It takes CEOs on average 60 days to decide who will make the “A” team and who will be shown the door. First impressions count. Ouch again.
This is a terrifically insightful article. Since CEO turnover is so high today, everyone needs this advice on what to do when a new captain of industry arrives in town.
Harvard Business Review, Kevin Coyne, Edward Coyne, new CEOs, CEO turnover, how to survive, exiting executives, younger whipper snappers, gray hair colleagues, rising CEO turnover, first impressions, “A’ team