In Brief: CEO Turnover; Crisis Preparedness

February 4, 2019


Study: CEO Turnover Rate in 2018 Was the Highest Since 2008

According to a study by executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a total of 1,452 CEOs left their posts in 2018, marking the highest number of departures since 2008’s 1,484 and a 25 percent uptick from 2017’s 1,160.

The report also found the 425 CEO changes in the fourth quarter of 2018 to be the highest ever on record, a strong increase from 2017’s fourth-quarter departures of 294.
Though turnover rate throughout the years has been cyclical — departure totals increased by 95 between 2013 and 2014, for instance, only to decrease again by 120 by 2015 — Andrew Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, sees 2018’s spike in C-suite shake-ups as a product of both economic uncertainty and newfound scrutiny into the ethics of executives by the public and the media.

“Boards are anticipating a changing environment and putting leadership in place who are capable of succeeding in it,” says Challenger.

Most Executives Only Marginally Confident in Their Crisis Plans, Study Finds

In a survey of 250 senior executives about crisis preparedness, Morrison & Foerster and Ethisphere determined that “a clear majority of companies do not feel as prepared as they should be to respond to an unexpected crisis event.”

The survey revealed that only 34 percent of respondents feel “very confident” in their crisis plans, with 56 percent reporting that they’re “somewhat confident.”

When it comes to specific forms of crisis, 67 percent of executives say their management plans address cyber breaches, while 57 percent say their plans are ready to address instances of workplace violence or harassment. Other prominent areas include environmental damage (45 percent), intellectual property theft (41 percent) and product recall (26 percent).
Other companies, though, revealed that they’re vulnerable to everything; just under 20 percent of executives surveyed by Morrison & Foerster and Ethisphere admitted to lacking any crisis management plan whatsoever. 

How Forbes’ New AI Tool Is Helping Its Contributing Writers

A recent Digiday article reports that Forbes is in the process of rolling out a new AI tool named Bertie to bolster its content output.

Bertie’s capabilities are cutting-edge; it can write rough drafts of articles that contributing writers can punch up later, suggest headlines and even recommend story topics based on previous pieces contributors have produced.

However, Bertie is more than just a time-saving tool. It can also help Forbes contributors generate more revenue for themselves.

To date, the news outlet publishes content from some 2,500 contributors, who earn a minimum of $250 per month with payments rising based on the number of loyal readers they accumulate. With less time spent on writing and reporting, contributors can instead focus on building their journalistic niche to amass the following they need to increase their earnings.

“Anything we can do to make it easier and smarter to publish,” said Salah Zalatimo, Forbes’ chief digital officer. “That’s the loyalty we bring [our contributors].”

The Importance of a Comprehensive Onboarding Plan

The length of an employee’s tenure at a new company often hinges on their experience in the first few days at a job.

According to global recognition and engagement company O.C. Tanner, 69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for at least three years after a great onboarding experience.
HubSpot’s onboarding checklist includes preparing the new employee’s workstation and supplying them reading materials about the company’s values, mission and culture before they start. When the new hire shows up for their first day, give them a tour of the office, assign them a mentor and schedule a “welcome” lunch so they can meet their team in a more casual setting.

“It’s important you keep the new hire busy and engaged,” writes HubSpot’s Caroline Forsey. “You don’t want the new hire to feel awkward sitting at her desk waiting for instruction. You want to demonstrate you’ve taken the time to plan a full, productive day for the new hire.”


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