The New CEO Report
Feigen Advisors LLC
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Feigen Advisors

New CEO Report


The 2018 New CEO Report

June 2019

Feigen Advisors is pleased to release the fifth edition of our annual New CEO Report, profiling the 23 new chief executives in the top 250 companies in the S&P and the three new CEOs in the FTSE 30, and providing a unique view into the leadership transitions of our largest and most valuable enterprises.

We provide five years of data on CEO transition, highlighting illuminating trends from 134 New S&P 250 CEOs since 2014 - an invaluable resource for those who exercise sway over CEO succession.

As in the past, we have invited eminent leaders to share their thinking with us in the first section of our report, “Advice to the New CEO.” Lynn de Rothschild, who is in the vanguard of corporate citizenship and sustainable capitalism, shares her perspective on developing one single ESG standard. Bill Janeway, who built the incredibly successful technology practice for Warburg Pincus, author and professor at Princeton and Cambridge, provides invaluable advice in these pages to every CEO, new or current, and every leader, of businesses large or small.

Key Findings from the 2018 New CEO Report

23 New CEOs in 2018, 134 New CEOs over the past Five years

2018 welcomed 23 new CEOs in the S&P 250. This compares to 30 new CEOs in 2017, 23 in 2016, and 29 new CEOs in both 2015 and in 2014.

CEO tenure is nine years – our largest companies retain their CEOs nearly twice as long as the broader market

A recent PwC Strategy& CEO Success Study of the largest 2,500 companies found that CEO tenure averaged only five years. By contrast, the average tenure of a CEO in the S&P 250 who exited between 2014 and 2018 is nine years, demonstrating stability at the top of the country’s largest companies.

84% Were promoted internally

In the last five years, 84% of companies appointed their new leader from within their own ranks, a sign of health and stability.

New CEOs tend to have significant company experience

On average, new CEOs promoted from within spend nearly 21 years at their companies 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

Only nine women became CEO of S&P 250 companies in the last four years. To put this in perspective, ten of the 134 leaders appointed to CEO over the past five years were at one point employed by PepsiCo, while the rest of the S&P 250 promoted only nine women to CEO during this same period. By contrast, eight of these CEOs were named “James”.