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NEXT IN LINE? Survey: Most CFOs Don't Have Successor Picked Out; Lack of Time and Qualified Candidates Cited as Top Reasons

MENLO PARK, Calif., June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- If a firm's top financial executive suddenly left the company or had to resign, most organizations would not be prepared to deal with the aftereffects, new research suggests. In a Robert Half Management Resources survey, nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) chief financial officers (CFOs) said they have not identified a successor for their position.

Many respondents (61 percent) said they have yet to identify a successor because they are not planning to leave their firm in the near future. This is down 20 percentage points from a 2010 survey. For an increasing number of financial executives, other issues are hindering their efforts: 19 percent of CFOs reported being too busy focusing on other concerns, and 14 percent cited a lack of qualified internal candidates.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world's premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 2,100 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

CFOs were asked, "Have you identified a successor for your position?" Their responses:


2013

2010

No

78%

83%

Yes

22%

17%


100%

100%

CFOs who have not identified their successor were asked, "Which one of the following most accurately describes your reason for not identifying your successor?" Their responses:


2013

2010

Not planning on leaving in the near future

61%

81%

Too busy focusing on other concerns

19%

6%

No qualified candidates currently working at your organization

14%

7%

Not a priority as you would no longer

be with the company

5%

4%

Other

0%

1%

Don't know/no answer

1%

1%


100%

100%

"Succession planning is a critical business process that should be implemented throughout the organization," said Paul McDonald, Robert Half senior executive director. "Even if there is no immediate need to fill a position, identifying future executive talent helps companies prepare for the unexpected, develop a pipeline of strong leaders and build a more capable staff.

"The process starts with recruiting and identifying the right personnel with desired leadership qualities," added McDonald. "Employers should provide professional development opportunities and hands-on experience to ensure the next person in line for a key role is ready for a smooth transition."

About Robert Half Management Resources
Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has locations worldwide and offers assistance to hiring managers at roberthalfmr.com.

 

SOURCE Robert Half Management Resources

For further information: Michael Weiss, +1-650-234-6383, michael.weiss@rhi.com