Succession planning

Boards of directors are the key element of corporate governance systems and as such they should ensure additional shareholder value and the sustainable development of the company. Recent studies have shown that changing a CEO inefficiently leads to a downturn in a company's financial performance and its market capitalization. Accordingly, one of the most important tasks of an effective Board is to build a succession model and ensure timely change of the management.

At Ward Howell, our approach to succession planning is based on the Inside-Out model: developing candidates within a company and comparing them with external professionals.

This allows companies to:

  • Develop management candidates with a unique set of skills and competencies;
  • Build a comprehensive development system for high-potential employees;
  • Track the competitiveness of their leadership capital;
  • Reduce the cost of attracting managers from the market;
  • Ensure key managers are changed effectively;
  • Increase the predictability of the management succession process.

We provide professional support to companies in the following areas:


  • Assessment of the current leadership potential and its compliance with the company's strategic goals;
  • Comparative analysis of the company's leadership potential with market leaders, and Russian and international competitors;
  • Formation of the profile of future CEOs;
  • Definition of the time horizon for CEO succession.

Development of a succession system

  • Establishment of a succession plan with the HR Department and Remuneration Committee;
  • Development of support and monitoring procedures;
  • Implementation of external and internal communication systems to maintain the succession process.

Establishment of a pool of successors

  • Development of selection criteria for internal candidates;
  • Establishment of an external candidate pool (mapping);
  • Assessment of the leadership potential of internal and external candidates.

Formulation of development programs for successors:

  • Individual development programs;
  • Identification and development of competencies according to the profile of future CEOs;
  • Individual coaching of successors

Assistance for the current CEO:

  • Individual coaching;
  • Facilitation of mentoring (for both the current CEO and their successor);
  • Career counseling. 

Selection and integration of the CEO:

  • Search and presentation of external candidates for comparison with finalists;
  • Assistance in selecting the final candidate;
  • Assistance with the integration of the CEO;
  • Preparation of internal and external communication.

Ward Howell expertise

  • Since 1993, Ward Howell has been finding effective managers and Board members for public and private Russian companies.
  • Our daily communication with shareholders and top management, Board members, and Chairmen of major companies allows us to be aware of the trends and best corporate governance practices in Russia and abroad.
  • Our consultants are current members and Chairmen of the Boards of Russian and international companies, and have sound knowledge of regulatory requirements and the practical skills required to work effectively for the Board.
  • Over the last four years, we have conducted executive assessments of over 500 C-level executives.
  • Consultants from our Corporate Governance practice team have conducted more than 10 global studies in partnership with INSEAD Business School, have written scientific papers and business books on corporate governance, and have extensive academic knowledge and comprehension of the topic.
  • We strive to ensure that our company, projects, and practices have a positive impact on the future and create sustainable results for both our clients and Ward Howell.

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