New Forbes post: No country for new CEOs

CEOs these days are given one term in office. If they’re very successful, they might get four more years.

John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

This quote from a May article in The Daily Beast – Why the Speed of Business Is Dooming America’s CEOs – addresses the tenuous position of CEOs in the U.S., based on Challenger, Gray & Christmas’ research in this area. In my new Forbes article  – Why Do So Many Bright Business People Fail So Impressively As CEO? – I discuss why I think new CEOs are often unprepared for the role. Thinking it’s often just the next step in their career, many CEO neophytes don’t realize that it’s a unique position with challenges they haven’t faced before. Plus, they probably haven’t been groomed for the position and even then don’t take the time to study for the job. In addition, I think CEO training and development is seriously inadequate in preparing CEOs to transition into the role, which is the whole reason for this blog.

I look forward to your questions/comments after you’ve read the piece! Here are a few sobering statistics about CEO tenure:

  • The average CEO tenure has decreased from about 10 years to about 5½ years since the 1990s – Challenger, Gray & Christmas (USA Today)
  • Nearly 40% of CEOs are fired within their first 18 months on the job – Center for Creative Leadership (Peter Barron Stark)
  • The average tenure of a departing S&P 500 CEO in the U.S. is 8 years as of 2010, down from 10 years in 2000 – Conference Board report (WSJ blogs)
  • In 2012, 15% of the world’s largest 2,500 companies replaced their CEOs—the second-highest figure in the 13 years it {Booz Allen} has compiled the data. (In 2011, 14% of this class of executives were replaced.) – (The Daily Beast) See Booz & Co. 2012 Chief Executive study

Photo Credit: Jonathan Kos-Read via Compfight cc


  1. How involved do you advise a CEO to be involved in the day to day operations? Or should he count on reporting from management ?



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