c-suite transitions: Communicating a CEO Exit or Announcing a New Executive
Hippos provides leadership to boards when communicating CEO exits and the transition of C-suite executives. These announcements are highly sensitive matters requiring confidentiality and tightly synchronized communications at the highest level. Executive committees engage Hippos early in the process to handle the communications surrounding both exits and onboarding C-suite executives.
We counsel on best communications practices, advise on the cadence of the announcement, draft all content, and coordinate with internal communications teams. We manage the process from beginning to end, working closely with the board through regular phone conferences that advance the process transparently and facilitate decision-making. Hippos anticipates communications for all stakeholders both inside and outside the organization, and oversees messaging development and outreach. This includes all media across all channels and investor relations. With the goal of minimizing negative impact, and providing reassurance, Hippos has successfully handled these communications for public and private companies, non-profits and membership organizations.
Understanding the Timeline for Heightened Sensitivity with a CEO Exit
While much attention is often paid to the initial reaction of an executive change, in reality, it is the time after the transition that draws the most scrutiny and is a period of risk or reward. Ultimately, gaining support and maintaining momentum depends on how well a newly appointed leader sets an agenda and manages the transition, and how well key stakeholders inside and outside the organization regard these actions. The rules apply equally to interim or permanent management. To this end, Hippos develops communications that maintain support and mitigate any speculation.
Often, an interim leader is appointed while a search is conducted for the permanent CEO. Hippos works with boards to announce the interim leader and the search. We also manage communications throughout this transition to create a positive search environment and pave the way for the successful introduction of the new leader.