'Stealth CEO factories' produce top-notch leaders

From 1992-2010, a fifth of all CEOs appointed to firms in the S&P 1,500 came from 36 CEO factories, with GE the largest one, according to Harvard Business Review. However, big-name companies aren't the only ones to develop future CEOs. 

For HBR, Elena Lytkina Botelho, partner at consulting firm ghSMART and adviser for CEOs and boards, wrote that several under-the-radar companies have produced a large number of CEOs. These "stealth CEO factories" include Medtronic, Rohm and Haas, and Danaher Corp. 

Danaher was largely unknown to the public until alum Larry Culp took over as CEO of GE. Ms. Botelho found that companies led by CEOs who previously worked at Rohm and Haas or Danaher performed 67 percent better than the same companies did under a different chief.

Ms. Botelho outlined three practices that make these stealth CEO factories so successful at making future executives:

1. Leaders get broad authority

2. They are encouraged to think like CEOs

3. Strong performers are challenged early with big opportunities 

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