CEO role no longer a job for life

A significant 83 per cent of business leaders expect to be replaced within just five years, according to a poll of business 503 CEOs commissioned by SkillSoft, a global e-learning company.

With high levels of authority and an even bigger pay cheque, it’s easy to think of the chief executive officer position as a job for life. But it would appear that the role is becoming increasingly fragile. Maintaining the position as CEO is becoming tougher as businesses are constantly seeking fresh talent with innovative and strategic minds to drive the business forward.

The same research indicated that the top spot was even more temporary in the largest of companies. A third of CEOs with more than 1,499 employees, anticipated leaving the business within just two years. Whether larger companies are more demanding of top talent and feel it necessary to review their employees’ progress more regularly, or that employees feel more pressure within a larger business, is yet to be decided.

On the contrary, only 5 per cent of organisations with more than 1,499 employees said they had no plans for replacing their leaders. And nearly a fifth of companies with between 500 and 749 employees claimed not to have replacement plans.

Kevin Young, managing director of SkillSoft EMEA, commented: “CEOs need to up their game if they want to keep their roles in such a competitive market. Businesses are becoming more ruthless, especially after the recession, so business leaders need to ensure they are cutting edge and can outshine competing candidates. This is exactly why not only valuable experience, but training and development is absolutely crucial for leaders to maintain, update and learn new skills.”