Employing an external CEO or General Manager


Should organisations appoint an external interim CEO before rushing into recruitment of a new CEO?
Generally, there is rush to find a new CEO when you decide to make the decision to employ and external person or an existing CEO leaves.

My experience having been engaged in a variety of industries to act as an interim CEO or general manager is that often, Owners/boards should take the time to take stock and review the internal needs.
It a great chance to review, challenge and reassess.
It’s not until there is a forced or voluntary exit or sudden retirement that ignites a rush to find a replacement. As an experienced Interim CEO I know you must take a pragmatic and unbiased review of what the real people and culture issues are. My experience is that you have to listen hard and not get involved as you filter what is put to you. You will see and hear things that a permanent CEO might never understand. You are not there to make decisions or make wholesale change, rather to be safe pair of hands and ensure smooth continuity for the business and the staff until a new appointment is made. I never leave an interim assignment without preparing an honest and robust report. Sometimes the truth hurts and the report is buried. Sometimes, the board use the report for better understanding of internal issues they don't know just by being in board meetings.


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