Executive Exit Strategy

Organizations define the term “executive” differently. Often we need to understand the organization before we agree on the definition. Developing an exit strategy for someone at this level has its own set of unique challenges. Here are some protocol questions for developing a C-Level exit strategy:

  • What are the most important issues when senior or key leaders leave your organization?
  • Which would be the most important of these issues?
  • Why are they important to you? To the organization?
  • What would impact your addressing these issues?
  • What do you think are the top three reasons why key leaders leave your organization?
  • What has been the impact of key talent leaving?
  • Why is this important?
  • How are high level performers rewarded when it is time to go?
  • What is the impact to the company’s culture when a senior leader is not performing adequately?
  • How would you assess the company’s risk with a C-Level separation?
  • How will your customers view this departure? The Board or other key stakeholders?
  • How will your competitors react?
  • What impact will this separation have on retention of others?
  • How will other employees view this?
  • How will your stock price be impacted?
  • How will this individual react to the news?
  • Who will they talk to?
  • What is your decision time frame?
  • Who else will be involved in this decision?
  • What is your communication plan both internally and externally? Has the executive been advised and/or agreed to it?
  • What made the individual successful during his/her time with the company?
  • What are the extenuating circumstances?
  • Are there any spousal issues that need to be considered?
  • What factors do you consider important during this process?
  • What outcomes are you looking for?
  • What does success look like for this transition?
  • What are the intellectual capital issues and how do you plan to address them?
  • What are the non-compete issues?
  • Is there any current or pending company litigation involving the individual?
  • Has legal counsel been involved?
  • How will the senior team be configured as a result of the separation?
  • How does your senior team handle non-performance in their ranks?
  • When change is necessary how is the transition handled?
  • What could go wrong?

Doing the right thing should be hard. It should not be complicated.

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