How important is the role of a CEO? In an economy where businesses were traditionally driven by either family or the state, the CEO’s role was one that encompassed both executive and corporate governance roles (MD and Chairman). With the huge influx of funds into the economy, there is an increasing need for the separation of powers for taking business related decisions and for safeguarding shareholder wealth. In essence, the recent call from SEBI to split the Chairman and Managing Director (read CEO) roles to ensure balance of decision-making powers and corporate governance is a well-considered and timely move.
Our cover story for this month deals with issues related to who should own the process of (s)electing a new CEO and what are the optimal steps in ensuring smooth transition between the outgoing and incoming decision-makers. The story looks at the issue from three different viewpoints - family-run businesses, state-run businesses and professionally managed companies. As some of India’s biggest companies (Tata Group, Infosys, etc) search replacements for illustrious predecessors and patriarchs of family-run businesses look to restructure their holdings and avoid high-profile family feuds (of which corporate India has seen its decent share), the role of a company’s Board and its corporate governance responsibilities, including CEO succession planning, becomes all the more important.
Continuing on the theme of leadership requirements in the face of capital inflow, we also bring to you in this issue a quick-view on how to hire a CEO that lasts (Ashkenas and Wasserman), the Korn/Ferry report on Asia’s ‘leadership preparedness’ for the next wave of growth and a People Matters view on the Top 10 people challenges for CEOs today (from the EFI annual event).
This issue also includes a Talent Acquisition supplement - a compilation of information on processes and technologies available for talent acquisition, with a buyer’s guide that incorporates the specialized offerings of product/service providers in this space.
Finally, December 2010 sees the annual NHRD Network event, themed ‘Towards the Next Orbit’. So, book your dates.