License to Lead: Seven personal attributes that maximize the impact of the most successful chief audit executives

For internal auditing, a new era has begun. After nearly a decade of earth-shaking events for corporations, those responsible for reviewing internal controls, operational efficiency, and regulatory compliance are under a harsh spotlight. For the chief audit executive (CAE), business as usual is clearly over. Corporate boards and CEOs are now demanding a new profile: a CAE who understands all facets of the business and can operate as an agent of change.

Old-line CAEs who have been entrenched solely in internal auditing may no longer fit the profile that corporate boards seek. Today, it's estimated that within the Fortune 500, new CAEs are recruited from outside internal auditing almost half the time. In order to identify the traits essential to success for today's CAE, Korn/Ferry International and The Institute of Internal Auditors partnered to conduct a series of interviews with high-profile CAEs in the United States and abroad.