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The hero's farewell : what happens when CEOs retire

Author: Jeffrey A Sonnenfeld
Publisher: New York ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1988.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
How a business replaces its chief executive is a vital issue for the firm's future. Unless the transfer of power is managed effectively, the business may be thrown into turmoil--with profound implications not only for the CEO, but also for the other employees, the shareholders, and sometimes even the industry as a whole. Yet not enough is known about this crucial moment in the history of a company. Filled with  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Sonnenfeld, Jeffrey A., 1954-
Hero's farewell.
New York ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1988
(OCoLC)580690134
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Jeffrey A Sonnenfeld
ISBN: 0195050916 9780195050912
OCLC Number: 17480114
Notes: Includes indexes.
Description: viii, 324 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Preface --
Chief executives interviewed --
1. Heroes in late career --
2. Aging leaders and other aging workers --
3. Executive retirement and the parade of future leaders --
4. Corporate folk heroes : living legends or business cheerleaders? --
5. The hero's reluctant farewell --
6. The monarch's departure --
7. The general's departure --
8. The governor's departure --
9. The ambassador's departure --
10. The small business leader faces departure --
11. Parting patriarchs of the family firms --
12. Riding into the sunset and through the dawn --
Appendix. Chief executive succession survey --
Notes --
Index.
Responsibility: Jeffrey Sonnenfeld.
More information:

Abstract:

How a business replaces its chief executive is a vital issue for the firm's future. Unless the transfer of power is managed effectively, the business may be thrown into turmoil--with profound implications not only for the CEO, but also for the other employees, the shareholders, and sometimes even the industry as a whole. Yet not enough is known about this crucial moment in the history of a company. Filled with inside stories from corporate boardrooms and fresh conceptual perspectives, this book describes in detail the factors that affect executive succession, focusing on the critical role a CEO's departure style plays in helping or hindering the transfer of power. The author has obtained candid interviews with fifty prominent retired chief executives from corporations such as AT & T, Ford, Dupont, United Technologies, and Raytheon (including Edwin Land of Polaroid, David Rockefeller of Chase Manhattan, and Tom Watson, Jr. of IBM). Through these interviews and a survey of an additional 300 top managers, he identifies the four major types of leadership departure styles: Monarchs, who choose not to leave voluntarily but either die in office or are overthrown; Generals, who leave reluctantly and spend their retirement planning a comeback; Ambassadors, who retain close ties with their former firms; and Governors, who willingly serve a limited term and leave to pursue new interests. Understanding how these leadership styles affect the transition process can enable both CEOs and their firms to better prepare for the changes to come. Executive successions are rarely easy, especially today when many of our business leaders have become heroes. These heroes are often unwilling to surrender control of a firm to which they have dedicated their lives. Retirement deprives them of a clear sense of purpose and indeed, for many, it is equated with abdication of responsibility and even death. Yet some retiring leaders exit constructively, starting new lives for themselves and leaving behind a firm that is capably managed. Capturing the human drama of these departures and succession battles, this book will fascinate anyone intrigued by power struggles in large corporations. More important, in outlining the ways to smooth out the inevitable transfers of power that corporations must face, it provides essential information for all top executives and especially for CEOs.

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