What I would like to ask is, given recent CEO exits (in the wake of banking commission, and also generally a lot of shareholder/public scrutiny), are organisations thinking more seriously about their executive pipelines?
The Boards of organisations have a corporate responsibility to be planning board and executive succession. CEOs are always thinking seriously about their Executive team and the skills and experience mix. Without considered succession the disruption to an organisation can be considerable and can have an impact on company performance and as we have recently seen their share value.
Are external recruiters and search firms being consulted on this, to be ready with a ‘spare’ in case of a sudden departure (or when the organisation is semi-expecting someone to leave or be pushed out)?
There may be succession in place and search firms are often involved in this preparation. This could include Board benchmarking, executive assessment and organisations ensuring executives receive additional skills and networks with University Post Graduate programs for instance. Whether it is a transition or a sudden departure executive search firms are often called on to “test the market” and to investigate the options for appointments. A sudden departure often will see a Board member assume an Executive responsibility for a period of transition while a new appointment is made and Executive Search firms like Taplow Group also offer Interim Management services where we have a “ talent pool” of executives who could step in for a period while a search is done and new appointment made.
Are internal recruitment/talent teams involved? (If not, is this an opportunity?)
The internal recruitment team is often excluded in an executive search. Confidentiality is paramount and often the search skills required are not found in internal recruitment and talent teams. Some organisations internal recruitment teams do prepare with talent pooling for specialist skills.
Also, what is the general readiness of organisations to replace CEOs at short notice? How does this compare to 1-2 years ago?
The general readiness today has not changed compared to a few years ago. What has changed is the timing needed for a search firm to secure an executive. This timing has shortened. Exiting an executive from their current employment contract has however become more complicated.
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Ian Stacy, Managing Partner - Australia/New Zealand & Regional Director - APAC of the Taplow Group