Sept incompréhensions à propos du processus de succession du PDG (PCD)

Voici un excellent article, publié par Heidi Schwartz* dans FacilityBlogsur un sujet très délicat mais vital pour tous les types d’organisations : Le processus de succession du PCD.

L’auteur présente les sept mythes les plus connus sur la problématique de la relève des présidents et chefs de la direction (PCD).

J’ai reproduit ci-dessous les points saillants de l’article. Bonne lecture !

The Seven Myths Of CEO Succession



« With CEOs turning over at a rate of 10%-15% per year – from jumping to another firm to resigning due to poor health or poor performance, or just retiring – companies would be expected to be well-prepared for CEO succession. But governance experts from Stanford and The Miles Group have found a number of broad misunderstandings about CEO transitions and how ready the board is for this major change.

In their recent piece for the Stanford Closer Look Series, David Larcker and Brian Tayan of the Corporate Governance Research Initiative at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stephen Miles of The Miles Group name seven myths around CEO succession – myths shared by corporate boards as well as the larger business community.

“The selection of the CEO is the single most important decision a board of directors can make,” say the authors, but turmoil around these decisions at the top “have called into question the reliability of the process that companies use to identify and develop future leaders.”

« What are the seven myths around CEO succession?

Myth #1:

Companies know who the next CEO will be. “The longer the succession period from one CEO to the next, the worse the company will perform relative to its peers,” says Professor Larcker. “But, shockingly, nearly 40% of companies claim they have no viable internal candidate available to immediately fill the shoes of the CEO if he or she left tomorrow.”

Myth #2:

There is one best model for succession. “There are several different paths companies can take to naming a successor – including internal and external approaches,” says Mr. Miles. “One reason companies fall short at succession planning is that they often select the wrong model for their current situation. A company may need an external recruit to lead a turnaround, for instance, or may have the capability to groom multiple internal executives over a period of time to allow the most promising one to shine through. One size does not fit all.”

Myth #3:

The CEO should pick a successor. “Sitting CEOs have a vested interest in the current strategy of a company and its continuance, and they may have ‘favorites’ they want to see follow them,” says Professor Larcker. “Boards, however, must determine the future needs of the company, and what kind of successor will best match the direction the company is headed.”

Myth #4:

Succession is primarily a “risk management” issue. “While a failure to plan adequately certainly exposes an organization to downside risk, boards should understand that succession planning is primarily about *building* shareholder value,” says Mr. Miles. “Succession planning is as much success-oriented as it is risk-oriented.”

Myth #5:

Boards know how to evaluate CEO talent. “Our 2013 survey found that CEO performance evaluations place considerable weight on financial performance (such as accounting, operating, and stock price results) and not enough weight on the nonfinancial metrics (such as employee satisfaction, customer service, innovation, and talent development) that have proven correlation with the long-term success of organizations,” says Professor Larcker.

Myth #6:

Boards prefer internal candidates. “While, ultimately, three quarters of newly appointed CEOs are internal executives, external candidates still hold a strong appeal for boards – especially at the start of a search,” says Mr. Miles. “Often boards aren’t given enough exposure to internal candidates, and directors are often nervous about giving an ‘untested’ executive the full reins of a company. There is a still-prevalent bias against promoting the insider ‘junior executive’ to the top spot one day. So, while the ‘myth’ may end up mostly true in the end, there is often a long journey of getting the board to that decision.”

Myth #7:

Boards want a female or minority CEO. “The numbers speak for themselves,” says Professor Larcker. “‘Diversity’ ranks high on the list of attributes that board members formally look for in CEO candidates, and yet female and ethnic minorities continue to have low representation among actual CEOs. We continue to see that boards select CEOs with leadership styles they perceive to be similar to their own, and the fact is that boards today are still highly non-diverse when it comes to gender and ethnic backgrounds.”


Heidi Schwartz* joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today’s Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM’s parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities.


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La gestion de la succession du PCD (CEO) par le C.A. | Les nombreux éléments à considérer

Voici un article sur les nombreux éléments à considérer dans le cas du remplacement d’un président et chef de direction (PCD). Les conseils d’administration ne sont pas souvent confrontés à ce genre de décision; mais c’est sûrement l’une des plus importantes décisions qu’ils auront à prendre.

L’auteur présente une sorte de check list de tout ce dont il faut se préoccuper dans les cas de changements de PCD. Cet article, publié par Brian V. Breheny, et paru dans HLS on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, est l’un des plus opérationnels qu’il m’ait été donné de lire. Il sera sûrement d’une grande utilité pour les membres de conseils appelés à vivre cette période critique de la vie des organisations. Je vous recommande d’en tenir compte lors du remplacement d’un PCD.

Notez que l’auteur prend pour acquis que le C.A. a déjà préparé un plan de relève du PCD. Cependant, si ce n’est pas le cas, l’article vous incitera sûrement à concevoir un tel plan ! Bonne lecture.

The Landscape of CEO Succession Issues

A board’s decision as to whether, when and how to terminate the employment of a CEO and hire a successor is among the most critical decisions facing the board of any company—large or small, public or private, established or start-up. In most cases, however, a CEO termination is a rare event and one with respect to which—as would be expected—the board, the company’s general counsel and its human resources professionals may have little or no experience. In addition, the situation is further complicated by contractual, regulatory and personal factors.

Contracts (Photo credit: NobMouse)

This post describes the substantive and procedural considerations that boards will want to take into account when there is a change of CEO. In it, we assume that the board has made the business decision relating to CEO succession and is focused on strategy, implementation and minimizing potentially costly and/or embarrassing oversights and errors. Many but not all of the same considerations apply in respect of executive officers other than the CEO, and some additional considerations may apply to such other officers; in any event, their relative significance likely will differ from the case of the CEO.

Communication Practices in CEO Succession (

The Landscape of CEO Succession Issues (

Les aspects éthiques de la gouvernance d’entreprise | Un rapport qui prend en compte la réalité européenne (

The best solutions for governance problems can only come from well-informed corporate shareholders and stakeholders (

Statistiques et constats sur le processus de succession des PCD (CEO)

Ce billet présente le résumé d’une étude, produite par le Conference Board et récemment publiée sur le site de Harvard Law School Forun on Corporate Governance and Financial Régulation, laquelle fait état de la planification de la relève des PCD (CEO). L’étude intitulée CEO Succession Practices (2013 Edition) analyse les cas de rotation des PCD dans les entreprises du S&P 500. Le rapport présente les résultats en quatre sections :

Les tendances en matière de planification de la relève de 2000 à 2012 ainsi que la relation entre la performance des entreprises et le départ ou l’arrivée d’un PCD;

Les pratiques en matière de succession du PCD en 2012 : les responsabilités du conseil, le rôle du PCD démissionnaire au conseil et la nature de la divulgation aux actionnaires;

Une analyse des particularités de plusieurs cas célèbres de succession de PCD en 2012;

Divers exemples montrant comment l’activisme des actionnaires a une influence grandissante sur le processus de la planification de la relève en 2012.

Vous pouvez vous procurer une copie complète de l’étude en vous adressant à

Vous trouverez, ci-dessous, les principaux constats dégagés par la recherche. Bonne lecture. Vos commentaires sont appréciés.

Statistics on CEO Succession in the S&P 500

Despite steady average CEO succession rates, dismissals hit a 10-year high in 2012.

In 2012, 53 CEOs in the S&P 500 left their post. The rate of CEO succession in calendar year 2012 was 10.9 percent, consistent with the average number of annual succession announcements from 2000 through 2011. The rate of CEO dismissals varies widely across the 2000–2012 period, ranging from 40.0 percent in 2002 to 13.2 percent in 2005 (on average, 24.5 percent for the period). In 2012, 31.4 percent of all successions were non-voluntary departures, the highest rate recorded since 2003.

Companies in the services industries experienced higher than average CEO succession rates.

The rate of CEO succession had significant variation across industry groups during 2012. The services industry had a succession rate of 18.0 percent in 2012, higher than its 13-year average of 16.2 percent. By contrast, the extraction industry, which includes mining, petroleum products, and natural gas companies, had a succession rate of only 5.6 percent during 2012, lower than its 13-year average of 9.5 percent.

English: Corporate Governance
English: Corporate Governance (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Companies increasingly look outside to hire their CEOs.

In 2012, 27.1 percent of S&P 500 companies that faced a CEO succession hired an outsider for the top job. While the rate confirms a trend recorded since the 1970s, it is much higher than the 19 percent reported in 2011. This finding may suggest that there is a need to continue to strengthen companies’ leadership development practices. The heated pay-for-performance debate of the last few years has induced boards of directors to increase the rigor of the CEO selection process: the growing percentage of outsiders chosen as new CEOs may show that directors don’t always like what they find within the companies’ ranks. Moreover, a number of companies that underwent a succession event in 2012 selected a director from their own board as the new CEOs. The director-turned-CEO succession model provides companies with a chief executive who is familiar with corporate strategy and key stakeholders, thereby reducing leadership transition risk.

CEO departure may offer opportunity to reconsider board leadership model.

Only 18.8 percent of successions in 2012 involved the immediate joint appointment of an individual as CEO and chairman of the board of directors. Based on succession announcements, one-third of departing CEOs remained as board chairman for at least a brief transition period, typically until the next shareholder meeting, while several departing CEOs retained significant influence with the company as board chairman. In some cases (Iron Mountain), the succession was used as an opportunity to reconsider the board leadership structure and adopt a CEO/board chairman separation model. Alternatively, the boards of Altria Group, Boston Scientific, CA Inc., and Murphy Oil retained the expertise of the departing CEO via a consulting contract rather than a position on the board.

Formal succession process is credited for the choice of new CEO, except when the CEO is hired from outside.

Perhaps surprisingly, only 22.9 percent of succession announcements among S&P 500 companies in 2012 explicitly stated that the incoming CEO was identified through the board’s succession planning process. This is noticeably lower than the 32.4 percent of successions that referred to the succession planning process in 2011. There appears to be a link between inside promotion to the CEO position and the succession planning process—31.6 percent of announcements that mention the board’s role in the succession planning process involve an insider appointment as incoming CEO, whereas no successions that involve an outside hire reference succession planning.

Mantatory CEO retirement policies remain seldom used.

Mandatory CEO retirement policies based on age are an infrequent element of CEO succession plans. Only 11.8 percent of manufacturing companies and 8 percent of nonfinancial services companies adopt an age-based mandatory retirement policy for CEOs; the number is lower in the financial industry. The highest level of policy adoption (19.4 percent) is reported by manufacturing and nonfinancial companies with annual revenue of $20 billion or greater.

Le développement de la relève pour des postes de haute direction

Le rôle du C.A. et du PCD (CEO) dans la planification de la succession du premier dirigeant

Mieux planifier la relève du PCD (CEO)  |  Une approche systématique pour en garantir le succès ?

La planification de la relève : Une activité primordiale pour tous les C.A.

Planification de la relève du PCD et gestion des talents

More Companies Looking Outside for their Next CEO (

The 2012 Chief Executive Study: Time for New CEOs – Just Released (

Wal-Mart CEO Succession and Replacement Plan Identified (

Succession Planning (

Dix activités déterminantes du C.A. dans l’établissement d’un processus de préparation de la relève

Vous trouverez, ci-dessous, un excellent article publié par Thomas J. Saporito dans le Ivey Business Journal  de Janvier-Février 2013 qui porte sur un sujet crucial pour le succès d’une organisation : la gestion du processus de préparation de la relève par le conseil d’administration.  Bien sûr, c’est un processus ardu et laborieux car la coopération entière du PCD en place n’est pas toujours acquise ! Et, la volonté du C.A. de se lancer dans une telle opération n’est pas toujours au rendez-vous ! C’est ici que le rôle du président du conseil d’administration (PCA) dans l’animation de cette « pratique exemplaire » à long terme prend tout son sens.

L’article nous guide dans la mise en oeuvre d’un processus en dix phases qui couvrent l’ensemble des activités à accomplir. J’ai reproduit un court extrait de l’article ainsi que l’énumération des dix dimentions à considérer. Pour mieux comprendre et agir, il faut lire l’article au complet. Bonne lecture.

Ten Key Dimensions of Effective CEO Succession

English: Board of Directors
English: Board of Directors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

« In a joint RHR International/Chief Executive magazine study of 236 corporate directors, 95 percent of respondents acknowledged that CEO succession is a critical business continuity issue. Nevertheless, more than half (53 percent) rated themselves as “ineffective” in executing their responsibilities in the CEO succession process.

In the course of our succession-planning practice, we have concluded that there are 10 key dimensions for effective CEO succession planning. These essential elements – what we consider the ingredients for success – will help any organization build and maintain a successful CEO succession program. Each of these dimensions must be maintained to ensure that the risks inherent in each leadership transition are minimized and the best outcomes are achieved. Having best practices in place to manage each of these 10 dimensions in a continuous process will ensure that a board of directors is operating at peak effectiveness and efficiency, and that its CEO succession-planning program is, without question, a best practice ».


1. Establish Board Ownership, Involvement and Oversight

2. Set Succession Time Frames

3. Prepare for Emergencies


4. Align Strategy and Profile

5. Build a Talent Pipeline

6. Source External Talent and Manage Search Firms


7. Select the CEO

8. Proactively Manage the Transition

9. Measure Performance and Improve Progress

10. Manage the Dynamics in CEO Succession

Succession Planning: Two Perspectives (

RHR International Proposes Best Practices for CEO Succession (

5 Tips to Get a Head Start on Succession Planning (

Qualité des relations entre le Président du conseil d’administration (PCA) et le Président et chef de la direction (PCD)

Excellent article paru dans sur 5 des qualités requises pour obtenir des relations fructueuses entre le PCA et le PCD. Les cinq traits suivants semblaient faire l’unanimité des participants lors du Corporate Board Member’s Chairman/CEO Forum cet été :

  1. Communication
  2. Partage des tâches
  3. Préparer la relève du PCD
  4. Créer un climat d’ouverture
  5. Respect mutuel

    English: The Communication, Context and Relati...
    English: The Communication, Context and Relationship Aspect of a Date (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Five Traits of a Successful CEO/Chair Relationship

« At Corporate Board Member’s Chairman/CEO Forum this summer, a dynamic duo sat on a panel to discuss how their relationship makes the company stronger. There were no superhero costumes, but Colin Dyer, CEO, and Sheila A. Penrose, chairman, Jones Lang LaSalle, are definitely dynamic, and the audience asked a number of questions, including, one of the most basic: How do they make a successful relationship work? During the panel, the following five key traits emerged :

Sharing tasks.
Confronting CEO succession.
Having an open atmosphere.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T »