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One of the most important strategic risks a board of directors manages is the succession of its chief executive officer. To provide guidance for this process, CEO Succession Practices: 2017 Edition analyzes all CEO succession events at S&P 500 companies over the last 16 years, with additional analysis based on our 2017 survey. Among the findings: CEO departures from underperforming companies reach a high not seen in 15 years, with spikes seen in retail and wholesale trade sector and the oil and gas extraction industry. The largest financial companies have the highest disclosure rates for succession planning, possibly stemming from their effort to strengthen a culture of risk oversight. After years of a sharp rise, the succession rate of older CEOs has begun to normalize, confirming the completion of a generational shift in leadership.