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As the Great CEO Resignation Continues, Does Your Board Have a Succession Plan in Place?

Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business, Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hasan and DocuSign CEO Dan Springer — each has joined what some are calling “The Great CEO Resignation.”

Few CEOs left their positions at the height of the pandemic as they stayed on to steer their organizations through unprecedented uncertainty. Now, a surge of postponed CEO departures has begun: Earlier this year, data from executive placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas found that CEO departures from U.S. public companies rose 56% in 2022’s first quarter from a year earlier.

For many boards and the businesses they lead, the Great CEO Resignation will be quickly followed by the Great CEO Succession. If boards and directors don’t take the steps to prepare a succession plan — and update it regularly — surprise CEO departures can create significant costs and risk for their companies and stakeholders.

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