How to Avoid Choosing a Short-Tenure CEO

Choosing a new CEO is likely the biggest decision a board of directors has. It is imperative for boards of directors to weigh even more precisely what type of CEOs they desire and who best fits their organizations’ needs.

In a new report, “Leading indicators,” the Korn Ferry Institute shows how a rigorous readiness assessment can help boards discern key factors among elite candidates for CEO. None of the CEOs who scored highest in Korn Ferry’s Readiness Assessment left their role within 18 months. These high scorers also stayed in the CEO role on average one year and four months longer than did low scorers. In an uncertain global economy, the competencies of “engages and inspires” and “aligns execution” were found to predict tenure.


  • Jeff Jones

    Manager of Research and analytics at the Korn Ferry Institute

  • Susanne Blazek

    Director of Thought Leadership & Outcomes Research, Korn Ferry Institute

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  • James Lewis

    Senior Director and Senior Scientist, Korn Ferry Institute

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  • Evelyn Orr

    Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Korn Ferry Institute

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