CEO and C‑suite Succession

CEO succession is both high-stakes and high risk. That’s why you need an expert at your side.

CEO Succession Planning 

When does a CEO succession begin? Ideally, day one of a new CEO’s tenure. CEO succession isn’t an event — it’s a long-term process of identifying and developing the next generation of leadership.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of this process to your business. A successful CEO transition can set you up for success for years or decades to come. An unsuccessful one can cost millions, even billions. And even seemingly safe CEO transitions at iconic companies can disappoint, especially if the company doesn’t put in the time.

How we partner with you

Our CEO and C-Suite Succession process is uniquely rigorous and analytical, honed on over 27,000 C-suite assessments and focused on impact-oriented advice and collaborative partnership.

We partner with you well in advance of any transition, employing our Future CEO Scorecard to align the priorities of all key stakeholders (board, management) with your company strategy and determine the outcomes, behaviors and experience required of candidates.

What you can expect

We have a 25+ year track record of turning CEO succession into CEO success.

Our engagements don’t start with a retirement announcement and they don’t end with a report. We stand with you through the entire succession process, from assessment and development to selection of candidates. We’ll even help you develop and execute a launch plan to ensure rapid, smooth transition of the new executive — and start your next CEO succession on the right foot.

“If any of you are supporting CEO or C-suite succession in your organizations, I cannot say enough about the excellent work of ghSMART. From running in-depth 360 reports for individuals to assessing the team dynamic and assigning development work throughout.”

Fortune 100 transportation client

Case study


A multinational pharmaceutical company saw its CEO transition over the horizon.

Five years was enough time to find and groom a successor, but not without help. Our client needed an expert to find the right candidates and get them ready.


We stood beside the CEO, CHRO and Board for the entire five-year succession process – from planning to execution.

Step one: working with our clients to clarify their vision and priorities.

We then co-created a strategic, future-oriented CEO profile to guide the rest of the transition and identify candidates.

All our candidates had the potential to make a strong successor, but in the end, one stood out. They had the best working relationship with the Board and the respect of the rest of the C-suite.

For this lead candidate, we provided executive coaching to accelerate their readiness, and then stood beside them as an advisor through launch.


Our new CEO was able to hit the ground running.

Years of preparation, plus our support and that of the outgoing CEO had left them well-prepared for the new role.

In their first year, they both carried forward the plans of their predecessor and undertook bold initiatives of their own.

"ghSMART brought a powerfully unique perspective to this process. Their rigor and methodology is unmatched.”

Chairman of the Board

Other Solutions



Private Equity & Principal Investors


Public and Social Sector