How new CEOs Can do Better than their Predecessors

How new CEOs Can do Better than their Predecessors

2009-06-12 08:18:05

CEOs from two high-profile companies have stepped down from their positions this week to make room for a new wave of leadership.  It was announced Thursday that Palm CEO Ed Colligan would be replaced by Jon Rubinstein, a former Apple executive. And earlier this week, Proctor & Gamble CEO A.J. Lafley announced that he would step down and that Bob McDonald who has been at the company for nearly 30 years would take over.

There is no denying the fact that the recession is taking its toll on companies across the country, and thus organizations are looking to change things up a bit, which for many means new senior management.   In fact, CNN reported today that “CEOs are getting the boot on a regular basis: 115 departures in May alone”. Here is a quick list of some of the big name CEOs, along with their approval and disapproval ratings that have departed office over the past few months: It’s interesting to observe that only three of the CEOs listed below garnered an approval rating over 50% at the time of their departure.

Glassdoor Report: Former CEOs

Company

Company Rating

CEO Name

CEO Approval
Rating

CEO Disapproval
Rating

Genentech

4.0

Art Levinson

94%

1%

Proctor & Gamble

4.1

A.G. Lafley

87%

2%

McKinsey & Co

4.1

Ian Davis

85%

0%

General Motors

3.0

Rick Wagoner Jr.

45%

33%

Palm

3.2

Ed Colligan

40%

40%

Symantec

3.0

John W. Thompson

36%

36%

Yahoo!

3.3

Jerry Yang

34%

45%

Wal-Mart

2.9

H. Lee Scott Jr.

30%

35%

UBS

3.2

Marcel Rohner

28%

24%

AOL

2.9

Randy Falco

13%

64%

EDS

2.6

Ron Rittenmeyer

12%

64%

But just because a new CEO comes in doesn’t mean employees are optimistic about the direction of the new leadership. As a case in point, EDS‘s former CEO Ron Rittenmeyer had a 12% approval rating but current EDS leader Joe Eazor has just a 5% approval rating.

So what can a new CEO do to garner the support of his or her team? At Glassdoor, we suggest reading the reviews of both your own company and your competitor companies to learn what’s working and what can be improved upon. We have also summarized some tips that CNN offers to make for a successful CEO transition:

1. Make it clear who’s in charge: Make it clear to the board and the employees that the ultimate decision now belongs to the new CEO. The former CEO “can be the wise man, or a confidant,” he says. “Otherwise it’s hard for the new CEO to feel fully in charge with the longtime CEO still in the office.”

2. Use the interim period wisely: Use the period between the announcement and the actual changing of the guard to build board relationships and other external interactions that will soon become key. And take this time to bone up on skills that are missing from the new CEO’s repertoire.

3.) Stay confident — but remember how much there is to learn: Be humble enough to understand that a new CEO has much to learn, while at the same time keep confidence up.

Have you recently seen your company go through a CEO transition? What did the new boss in charge do well or not so well on?

Categories: In the News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>