Almost 50% of health execs not prepared for CEO's departure, study finds

Forty-three percent of healthcare executives said their organizations did not have a viable succession plan in place if their CEO left, according to a recent survey conducted by management consulting firm Korn Ferry.

Korn Ferry conducted the survey in December 2018 and received responses from CEOs and other C-suite executives from almost 70 hospitals and healthcare systems nationwide.

"Hospital and healthcare systems are incredibly complex entities and it is critical to their success that effective leadership is in place to guide them now and into the future," said Christine Rivers, a senior client partner in Korn Ferry's board and CEO services practice. "Succession management programs are key to creating smooth transitions as management changes occur."

Four findings from the report:

1. More than half (54 percent) of respondents said their organizations do not have an immediate successor should something happen to their chief executive.

2. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed said they are more concerned about the ages of their C-suite members than they were five years ago.

3. The majority (87 percent) of executives said they prefer candidates in the CEO succession pipeline to be inside the healthcare industry, and nearly two-thirds (64 percent) said they believe successors are more likely to come from within their organization.

4. Ninety-four percent said it was important to have gender and ethnic diversity in the pool for potential CEO successors.

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