Investor Relations

Press Release

Korn/Ferry Survey Reveals More Interest Than Action in CEO Succession Planning Among Top Companies

December 21, 2010

NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

A Korn/Ferry Executive Survey released today reveals that the majority of global companies do not have a CEO succession plan in place, even though they regard CEO succession as an important element of overall corporate governance. The Korn/Ferry Institute surveyed a global sample of corporate leaders.

According to the Korn/Ferry Executive Survey, nearly all companies - 98 percent - regard CEO succession planning as an important piece of the overall corporate governance process. Yet, only 35 percent of respondents are prepared for either the unexpected or planned departure of their CEO.

Despite the recent increase of unexpected departures of several high profile CEOs, the trend has not fully opened the eyes of corporate executives. The Korn/Ferry Executive Survey reveals that 43 percent of respondents have not increased their attention to succession planning in response to recent scrutiny and headlines focused on hasty CEO departures. Nearly half of respondents, 49 percent, have not put a succession plan in place in the last three years.

"Given the number of abrupt, high profile executive departures this year, it's surprising that more companies are not acting with greater urgency to put a CEO succession plan in place," said Joe Griesedieck, vice chairman and managing director of Korn/Ferry Board & CEO Services Practice. "In today's environment, succession planning should be a part of any company's standard approach to governance."

Recent changes in federal regulation concerning CEO succession disclosure rules have changed the outlook of organizations considering the importance of CEO succession planning. Of those surveyed, 48 percent reveal that CEO succession planning is more important now than it has been in the past, while 51 percent have not changed their attitude toward CEO succession and believe it has always been important.

1. Do you regard CEO succession planning as an important piece of overall corporate governance?





2. Does your company have a CEO succession plan in place?





3. Has your company put a succession plan in place in the last three years?*



No, we had a succession plan in place earlier than three years ago




*Due to rounding, responses do not equal 100 percent.

4. Is CEO succession planning more important now than it has been in the past?

Yes, it is more important


No, it has always been important


No, it is not important


5. Have the unexpected departures of several recent high-profile CEOs heightened attention at your company on CEO succession planning?



No, it has always been a priority





The Executive Survey is based on a global survey of executives registered within the firm's online Executive Center, Respondents from 60 countries, representing a wide spectrum of industries and functional areas, participated in the most recent Executive Survey.

About The Korn/Ferry Institute

The Korn/Ferry Institute was founded to serve as a premier global voice on a range of talent management and leadership issues. The Institute commissions, originates and publishes groundbreaking research utilizing Korn/Ferry's unparalleled expertise in executive recruitment and talent development combined with its preeminent behavioral research library. The Institute is dedicated to improving the state of global human capital for businesses of all sizes around the world.

About Korn/Ferry International

Korn/Ferry International, with a presence throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is a premier global provider of talent management solutions. Based in Los Angeles, the firm delivers an array of solutions that help clients to attract, develop, retain and sustain their talent. Visit for more information on the Korn/Ferry International family of companies, and for thought leadership, intellectual property and research.

SOURCE Korn/Ferry International

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