CEOs switching jobs: What should they consider before taking this step

A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) taking a decision to quit has enormous consequences for the individual and the company where he/she holds various responsibilities.

Here are a few steps to keep in mind:


Ensure that you handle promoters sensitively. It is critical to remember that a promoter will be very emotionally involved in the company and therefore, prudent for the CEO to ensure that he/she aligns with the promoter and works within the boundaries set. Much as business is important for the promoter perhaps living up to the ideals and values, cultures, vales and ecosystem of the organization is even more important.

A CEO is not all powerful – there are boundaries that even a CEO faces vis-à-vis the board, the promoters and the ecosystem. So, CEO does not enjoy absolute power

The job of a CEO is extremely challenging. Every action of a CEO is put under a microscope and tends to be evaluated retrospectively when everyone is a lot wiser. Therefore, it is a crown full of thorns.

Representational image. Thinkstock

Representational image. Thinkstock

Job of a CEO is lonely - the pressures, the expectations and the demands are so high that very rarely can the CEO get objective opinion. So often enough, he/she has to back the instincts and may not have the best counsel.

Relationships are very important – there appears to be a sense of hurt apparent from the statements , therefore these could have been avoided if the relationship between the two was stronger.

Boundaries and do’s and don’ts need to be articulated clearly and openly at the beginning of the tenure, to minimize fall-outs.


Board of Directors role becoming more important. The Board of Directors have a role specially to act as a bridge between the promoter and the CEO is very important. The Board needs to ensure that both side’s sensitivities as well as mindsets are bridged.

Expectations from a CEO are only increasing day by the day, not only as business becomes more complex but given that everything that happens is in the public gaze, means that things that could be hidden in the past, tends to come out in the open almost immediately. And the expectations from all stake holders is that the CEO is equally adept at everything.

Promoters should also be a member of the board. This will help ensure that the promoter is kept abreast with what is happening as well as his advice and opinion is sought and heard by the board. This may minimize fall-outs.

A CEO should not change too much too fast. Though speed is critical in today’s day and age but what is even more important is to ensure that if too much happens too fast, it may get counterproductive.

(The writer is MD -  Executive Access (A “C” level hiring firm)


Published Date: Oct 03, 2017 04:02 pm | Updated Date: Oct 03, 2017 04:02 pm



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