- Between 2013 and 2017, just one CEO was dismissed for personal misconduct in the S&P 500. In 2018, there were five, according to data from The Conference Board, supported by Heidrick & Struggles.
- Of the 59 CEO openings, insiders took 52. Twenty of those brought at least two decades of experience at the company, The Conference Board found.
- By the end of 2018, 22 CEO positions in the S&P 500 were filled by women. This represented a downward trend; the number of women CEOs plummeted by 20% in 2018.
It appears S&P 500 businesses have robust succession plans in place, as insiders filled 88% of CEO vacancies. This isn't the case for every company, however. A Robert Half Management Resources survey found that almost half of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled hadn't appointed a successor — a problem that the survey results showed was especially acute among small firms. With involuntary dismissals becoming more frequent, the fulfillment of high-level vacancies is critical; organizations need a backup plan to maintain operational continuity and remain competitive.
A number of experts champion the formation and maintenance of pipelines, for executives as well as management. These pipelines are made even more necessary by retiring Baby Boomers, nonending skills gaps and an employee-driven labor market that presents turnover challenges for employers, sources previously told HR Dive. Organizations need people who are ready to take over positions when a vacancy occurs.
This philosophy applies to lower-level talent as well. Businesses that have strong talent pipelines, along with management pipelines, will have pools of qualified workers from which they can source candidates for open or soon-to-be-vacant positions.