Management Turnover as Change Agent

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Recommended Reading - Paying Big Bonuses Exposes Wall Street's CEO Succession Failure

Lisa Kasenaar wrote an on-point piece for Bloomberg on the problems associated with high executive compensation at the top banks and the frequent failure for those firms to properly plan for succession. Kasenaar wrote,

The global credit crunch and economic collapse of the past two years exposed pivotal management mistakes at the biggest U.S. banks — from slack risk oversight to multimillion-dollar bonuses for bankers chasing short-term profit.

Lewis’s (refers to Ken Lewis of Bank of America) exit highlights another kind of poor bank stewardship: the failure of CEOs and boards of directors to plan for an orderly succession when it’s time for the top person to leave.

Inadequate planning derails a company’s strategy and destroys employee morale, former executives, investors, recruiters and leadership consultants say. In the past four years, disorganized transitions cracked the foundations under some of the world’s biggest financial institutions, including Citigroup, Merrill Lynch & Co., insurance giant American International Group Inc. and Zurich-based UBS AG.

Anyone interested in compensation or succession planning must read the piece.

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