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The CEO Succession Study

by Bare Brilliance

Every year, Booz & Company takes an intensive look at CEO turnover among the world’s top 2,500 public companies. Our research now reaches back to 2000, giving us over a decade of perspective on the tenure and job functions of these global business leaders. Annually, we consider a new dimension of transition and change, looking deeply into such topics as the evolution of corporate governance practices, the special pressures on new CEOs, or the role of the corporate core and its effect on tenure and turnover.

Since its inception, the study has included an analysis by both geography and industry. It also looks at major trends with respect to CEO succession over time: the predominance of company insiders taking the top job, the split of the CEO and chairman roles, and the growth of the apprentice model, in which the new CEO’s predecessor assumes the job of board chairman.

The study looks at the world’s 2,500 largest public companies as measured by their market capitalization. The analysis of this data set — as a byproduct — illustrates the gradual migration of the largest companies from the mature economies of the United States, Canada, Western Europe, and Japan to emerging economies. If this pattern continues, within a few years the companies in the world’s mature Western economies could represent a minority of our sample.

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