Before COVID-19, the notion of work-life balance seemed unattainable for many executives consumed by their roles’ demands. But as the pandemic has led many executives to recapture aspects of their life (family, friends, health, etc.), many of them have reevaluated their work-life priorities. As vaccinations get deployed, and firms increasingly envision return-to-work plans, organizations will likely decide that they want their leaders back at headquarters, which can be met with resistance. As noted in this article, “If companies set unwavering rules on coming to the office, executives may look to move to companies that are more accommodating of a flexible working arrangement.” Fueling this risk is a trend that I posted based on a DDI report that warns that a mass exodus of CEO and other C-suite members is coming. The article noted, “2019 marked the highest year on record for CEO departures, outpacing turnover even during the depths of the recession in 2008 and 2009. As 2020 began, January saw record CEO departures, setting the tone for an even more disruptive year. But as the pandemic and economic fallout began, CEOs stayed put.” Firms will need to consider these risk factors as they decide on this topic while ensuring that succession plans are in place.
One thought on “Will the C-suite Empty Out in 2021? | strategy + business”
Bryant probably doesn’t go far enough in the article. We are likely to see 2 years of high-level baby boomer retirements all coming due at once from folks who put off retirement when there wasn’t anything to do. Add in the increasing global instabilities that will disrupt international leadership pipelines. In most scenarios, there isn’t a large enough pool to fill all the positions opening up. Smart companies may want to learn now how to get things done with less at the top.