CEO Succession

The Highest Risk Decision You’ll Make for Your Future

When it comes to CEO succession, most CHROs and boards of directors have a fatal flaw: They choose their next CEO based on the past.

But on average, CEO tenure lasts about a decade. So the only thing that really matters is what they will do in the future. But because the CEO job is unlike any other role, it’s hard for a board to predict how a candidate will perform until they are already in the role – for better or worse.

At DDI, our approach to CEO succession is based entirely on the future. We help you accurately predict CEO candidate’s performance before they get in the role. And then we help them develop to leverage their strengths and avoid potential pitfalls.

DDI will be by your side every step of the way to transition to your next great CEO.

Companies Struggle to Choose the Right CEO


of departing CEOs don’t quit. They’re fired



Nearly half (47%) of executive transitions are failures. Hiring internally helps boost chances of success by 25%.

DDI, Global Leadership Forecast, 2021


of companies had to replace their CEO with an external hire in 2019

Challenger, Gray, & Christmas

The Data Your Board Needs

CEO succession depends entirely on accurate prediction. To choose the right person, CHROs and boards need the right types of data to build an accurate picture of the future.

Performance data isn’t enough. The board also needs to look at objective data about the candidate’s personal leadership qualities, their skill across CEO functions, and most of all, their fitness for the business context.

Why? Because even great CEOs can fail because of one of those three things.

DDI’s CEO assessment process offers the most robust data in the industry. With our approach, your board will feel confident that they are making CEO succession decisions based on facts.

Explore CEO assessment

Having an outside resource like DDI was valuable at each step of the process. Their consultation and guidance helped keep objectivity and our business needs in the forefront of the discussions.

— Mary Ellen McCartney, Chief Learning Office, Gundersen Health System

Executive Coaching for Your New CEO

Everyone has blind spots, even exceptional CEOs. The key to a successful CEO succession is to make sure the CEO knows their blind spots before they get into the role.

DDI C-suite coaches have deep experience working with CEOs as they make the high-pressure transition into their new role. Our coaches offer a risk-free environment for CEOs to work through the challenges they are facing. We help them leverage their strengths, and focus on key areas to improve performance. Most of all, we offer objectivity and clarity. As external coaches, we can provide the unbiased feedback and broad perspective new CEOs need.

We are ready to walk by your side, and help you spot the opportunities and pitfalls ahead. So with each step in your journey to become CEO, you’re prepared for success.

Learn about our executive coaching services

Learn more about DDI Executive Services