The 2012 study took a close look at the professional and educational backgrounds of incoming CEOs. In 2012, 15.0 percent of CEOs left office, up from 14.2 percent in 2011. This was the second-highest rate of CEO successions in the history of our study. The new leaders who came into the office were, for the most part, familiar faces: Companies promoted people from within 71 percent of the time; 26 percent of incoming CEOs had worked at the same company for their entire career; 81 percent of new CEOs hailed from the same country in which the company’s headquarters are located; and 95 percent of new CEOs were men.
We also examined what leaders should do when their companies face fundamental disruption, as every company will sooner or later. Our feature article in strategy+business explains how CEOs can navigate to advantage through a disruption. To make sure their company does better than others, chief executives must personally lead an effort that recognizes the disruption’s dynamics, anticipates its likely effect, develops a response, manages that response, and sustains the necessary changes in organization and culture to ensure the company doesn’t backslide.