2. Think two to three CEO moves ahead; you and the board should not just seek to “friend” your replacement. Start identifying your brightest stars now so that there will be time to develop them.
3. Have your board become intimately familiar with the leadership bench and their potential. There are generations of CEOs in your company. You can groom them by assigning mentors and sponsors, and creating tailored leadership development programs that will aid in their management development.
4. Cross-train multiple generations of Facebook CEO successors with a mix of on-the-job training, intensive coaching, mentoring, and education. Seek opportunities for them to learn other parts of the company and the industry.
5. Keep CEO succession as a standing agenda item, as it addresses a multilayered, multigenerational process. Make it part of an ongoing dialogue with the board wherein you discuss issues such as creating and refining the C-suite development process, and reviewing and improving the process of working with the current CEO to develop successors.
We encourage you to focus on leadership succession from Day One, and to engage your board in the entire process. In a post-IPO world, you no longer have the luxury of doing things alone. Just as you led the social media revolution, we believe you can pioneer great practices that model what a well-governed and sustainable public company looks like.
Reprint No. 00116