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Succession Management

Few events carry greater risk to shareholder value than a change of leadership. So why do so many boards have an ineffective succession planning process or – even worse – no process at all for finding and preparing the next generation of leaders?

Our Succession Management team provides world-class companies across all industry sectors with objective, evidence-based management practices to help ensure the right leaders are ready, when and where they are needed – now and in the future.


Related Resources

Why companies struggle with succession management.

Securing a smooth succession for CEO and board-level roles is more than good governance; it’s sound business sense. That’s why the expectation among shareholders, regulators, financial analysts, and others is that boards will plan for it effectively. But in reality, very few do.

We have identified the two most common stumbling blocks:

  • A lack of agreement on strategic direction: discussions about future business leaders will stall if everyone on the board has a different perspective on the future of the business.
  • A lack of a coherent formal process for evaluating internal and external talent, or for linking the competencies and capabilities needed by the CEO to drive the business strategy.

A modular approach.

Our approach encompasses all phases of the succession planning process. Clients are free to customize programs to best meet their needs, and we help them document and institutionalize the succession planning process. At Korn Ferry, we partner to:

  • Align board views on business strategy, so that boards and executive leaders are in a position to better identify the kind of future leader they need.
  • Build profiles for the CEOs and leaders of today and tomorrow, enabling potential candidates to be objectively measured against accurate competency profiles.
  • Identify and assess internal and external candidates, using our rigorous assessment methodologies.
  • Create a development plan for the internal talent pipeline, involving on-the-job training, mentoring, feedback, and coaching, as well as formal academic and training programs.
  • Implement a development plan specifically for near- and mid-term CEO candidates.
  • Transfer knowledge to sustain the succession planning process, and enable boards to meet their long-term succession planning responsibilities.

The benefits of using our service.

By introducing a disciplined approach to leadership succession planning, you can mitigate risks to shareholder value and improve your company’s prospects for long-term growth. Specifically, our approach offers:

  • Ongoing readiness for succession.
  • A clearer, more complete view of the internal and external pipeline.
  • Internal candidates who rapidly develop the skills needed to provide global and enterprise-wide leadership.
  • High potential leaders who are more engaged and a culture of innovation and development.
  • A board more aligned than ever on company direction and the type of leaders needed in the short and long term.
Clients that use Korn Ferry for Chief Executive succession and development hire external CEOs half as often as the Fortune 500 average.
A complete view of talent.
A proper succession strategy extends beyond the C-suite. Our powerful diagnostic methods create a more complete view of the internal and external pipeline, and reveal how the organization’s succession planning is—or is not—producing the leaders it needs. We then help clarify, enhance, design, and build a more sustainable process.


Korn Ferry analytical tools provide the macro level view of the talent supply to give organizations insight into whether they have the talent they need to fuel growth and drive business performance, and identify any weak spots in the future leadership pipeline.




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