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Transitions at the Top: What Organizations Must Do to Make Sure New Leaders Succeed by David L. Dotlich, Dan Ciampa

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5 The CEO's Role

The incumbent CEO's primary role in the handoff has two parts: The first is as transition director, which includes tasks that are necessary in any transition. Second, the CEO has the responsibility to ensure his successor assimilates effectively into the organization and ultimately moves up to the top spot. This second part of his responsibility must be tailored to each unique situation and is one that each leader approaches differently.

An example of how one CEO handled this dual role comes from a large international company that recently appointed a new CEO. After 10 years as chief executive and chairman, the CEO (whom we'll call Robert) passed the role to his successor, Greg, one of his direct reports who headed up the largest ...

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