A strong business needs leadership that will last. By identifying the right CEO at the start, you have the best chance of meeting your business objectives and achieving success.

In our eBook, you’ll discover the fundamentals of finding and nurturing long-lasting leadership in a climate of heightened CEO and employee attrition.

The cost of attrition 

The appointment of a new CEO marks a major change for your organization. The transition period from old to new tenure has always been inherently risky as a business moves to re-calibrate. What’s needed during this time is not just a leader with skill and insight, or one with an impressive catalog of experience. Above all else, what’s required is staying power: the new CEO needs to stick around long enough to follow through on plans of action. 

The trouble is that CEOs are leaving their roles faster than ever. A significant number of new CEOs—around 11%—now exit their organizations just a year after appointment, and another 34% will depart by their third year.  

Given the significant time needed to make strategic changes that will drive growth in an organization, choosing the wrong CEO could put your company’s future at risk.  

Organizations need to find new ways of identifying a CEO who will stay for longer, so these individuals can make the business a success. 

Redefining the CEO search 

Boards typically hire for specific skills or experience that they believe to be relevant to their CEO leadership. But extensive research from Korn Ferry shows that’s only a small part of the picture if you want a leader that’s going to stick around. 

When CEOs leave early, it’s not usually because of poor performance, as is commonly assumed. It’s often because they were never a very good fit in the first place. 

Our studies show that a CEO’s personal attributes, traits and drivers matter every bit as much as experience and skills in the crucial period of succession—if not more. Companies that don’t shop for these elements when hiring a candidate can find themselves with a CEO that is twice as likely to depart within a year of their appointment. In turn, boards can be stuck with a leadership vacuum.

Our report identifies six key leadership qualities that show a strong correlation with extended CEO tenure. It describes how to find a candidate that will stick around and go the distance, and how to nurture further development for future success. 

Board & CEO Services

Better leaders for a better world

Begin your CEO succession planning 

As leaders in CEO recruitment, Korn Ferry can provide detailed advice tailored to your business, including rigorous assessments that will identify the best leadership candidates. We’ll also help you create strategies for retaining other top talent in your organization.  

Download the Reducing CEO Attrition eBook to discover the full insight of our Korn Ferry experts.

Download the eBook