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Report on Corporate Succession Planning Finds Companies Aren’t Doing Enough

David Larcker, a professor at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, and Scott Saslow, the founder and CEO of the Institute of Executive Development published a report looking at corporate succession planning.  The paper reports the results of interviews with executives and directors at 20 companies regarding their succession planning and executive development practices.  While the executives and directors agreed about the importance of succession planning, the interview results show that succession planning and executive development policies could be improved.  The key findings in the study include:

  • The companies often do not know who is next in line to fill senior executive positions
  • There is no specific process for succession planning
  • Rather than seeking the best successor, succession often focuses on reducing risk
  • Succession planning is not connected with internal talent development programs.


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