Transitioning Your Newly Appointed CEO Into Your Company

Transitioning Your Newly Appointed CEO Into Your Company

After a CEO executive search, both members of the board and fellow leadership executives must understand that the CEO, although highly capable and qualified, will not thrive as effectively without transitional support.

3 examples of common issues that arise with new CEOs within the first 18 months after a successful executive search include:

1. Assuming that the team they will be leading will be able to take on new behaviours to align with their vision 2. Their plans to align strategic agenda and necessary cultural changes are not successful 3. They have trouble creating political relationships

Organizational turmoil can occur within the company, especially if you are hiring externally.

Have a plan

Carefully set up multi-dimensional expectations for the CEO that focuses on a personal, financial and corporate culture level. Having a plan in place provides the CEO with the opportunity to understand what he/she is accountable for. The transition into their role is much longer, often months. A process of frequent communication with board members and executive level employees should be executed.


Employee onboarding, typically referred to as transitioning at the C-Suite level, is a crucial next step in the placement process of your newly appointed CEO. The goal of onboarding is to ensure that both your company and the new CEO, feel thoroughly prepared with an agenda, necessary resources to utilize, and an understanding of what changes need to be prioritized.

Working with him/her and fellow board members to solidify a strategic, fast tracked and organizationally tailored process will help to assimilate the CEO into your company. This will expedite their entrance into the position so that motivation isn’t derailed and they can begin to optimize their contribution strategies. In addition, this will translate into the cultivation of productive and strong relationships.

Post-Placement Strategies & Resources:

It is fundamental to stimulate peak performance of your new hire by providing ongoing, structured and personalized support. Following up and engaging with the candidate placed in their role as a CEO with a predetermined, set schedule is essential.

Executive Coaching: Coaching is a positive process aimed at equipping individuals to actualize their strengths and capitalize on their areas of development. It is crucial for coaching to be client-driven, because what works for one individual may not work for another in a similar situation.

Conferences & Events:
Recommending that your new hire routinely attends conferences and large-scale events that highlight topics that are both relevant to their role and the industry that your company operates in, will be beneficial for him/her to be up-to-date with new trends.

Board Sit-Downs: The more comfortable that he/she gets with the board, the more at ease they will feel to express any hesitation or resistance to the vision of change to undertake. Over-communicating is not seen as a negative thing, it showcases that you’re being proactive with setting up the new hire for success.

Seminars & Workshops: A successful CEO focuses on listening, asking questions and using those answers to constantly learn new ways to problem-solve. By understanding that they do not always “know everything”, attending smaller-scale seminars will provide more personal experiences for the CEO to equip your organization with skills to enhance company performance.