The New CEO Report
Feigen Advisors LLC
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Feigen Advisors

New CEO Report


The 2017 New CEO Report

August 2018

Feigen Advisors is pleased to release the fourth edition of our New CEO Report, profiling the 30 new Chief Executives who took the helm of S&P 250 companies in 2017.

The report features contributing articles on "Advice to the New CEO" from prominent leaders: we asked Martin Lipton, the Founding Partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and widely regarded as the ‘Dean’ of American Corporate Governance; Helene Gayle, the President & CEO of The Chicago Community Trust and retired Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General; Christopher Swift, the Chairman and CEO of The Hartford, a 208-year-old insurance leader that once insured Abraham Lincoln; Clayton Christensen, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and our leading thinker on Disruption; and Patrick Viguerie, the Global Managing Partner of Innosight to provide their advice to the New CEO Class of 2017.

The New CEO Report also analyzes data on the Class of 2017 and from four years of CEO transitions, highlighting illuminating trends from 111 New S&P 250 CEOs since 2014.

Key Findings from the 2017 New CEO Report

30 New CEOs in 2017, 111 New CEOs over the past Four years

2017 welcomed 30 new CEOs in the S&P 250. This compares to 23 new CEOs in 2016, and 29 new CEOs in both 2015 and in 2014. On average, roughly 11% of the S&P 250 promoted a new CEO each year.

CEO Tenure is longer than Presumed

The average tenure of a retiring S&P 250 CEO is nine years, contrary to the commonly-held view that CEO turnover is high. At the top of the S&P 250, stability reigns.

Few Were Named Chairman on Day one

Only 9 out of 111 new CEOs were Chairman at the time they became CEO.

83% Were promoted internally

Over the last four years, 8 out of 10 companies appointed their new leader from within their own ranks, a sign of health and stability. New CEOs spent nearly 19 years at their companies on average prior to promotion and have deep expertise and understanding of every aspect of their business, including strategy, operations, capital management, and people.

There are too few women

Although women make up nearly 27% of Senior Management, only eight women became CEO of S&P 250 companies in the last four years. To put this in perspective, eight New CEOs during this same time period were veterans of PepsiCo. That is, one company’s ability to develop the next generation of CEOs surpassed that of the entire S&P 250’s combined ability to promote women into the Chief Executive role (at least for the period we tracked).