Gaps in Succession Planning

Survey of corporate executives shows few organizations are effectively prepared for a C-level departure.

Global executive search firm IIC Partners released the results today of a survey of 1,270 senior-level executives. Most respondents occupy the C-suite—41 percent in the Americas; 30 percent in Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and 27 percent in the Asia-Pacific region. Across all geographies, the survey found that many companies have implemented formal succession plans, but the majority of those plans are not very effective.

More than half of the survey’s respondents said their company has a succession plan in place, but only one in five said the organization could replace them immediately if they left. (See Figure 1.) “No matter the location or the industry, there remains a gap in succession planning by many organizations,” says Paul Dinte, chairman of IIC Partners. “It is one thing to have a written succession plan, but quite another to be prepared for the departure of a C-level executive.”


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