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Are co-CEOs the future?

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

We believe so.

Forward thinking businesses that put the wellbeing of employees front and centre and recognise the diverse skill sets required to operate at this level, will start to adopt a co-CEO structure.

Abacus Wealth Partners, a $4 billion-plus RIA based in California, announced Mary Beth Storjohann and Neela Hummel as their co-CEOs back in November 21. A move that was highly unusual in an industry dominated by older, male CEOs but not unexpected from Abacus, an early advocate of socially responsible investing and a certified B Corp.

Diverse Talent Networks was recently quoted in FT Ignites on this topic.

@Lee Higgins, co-founder of Diverse Talent Networks, says “the leaders of tomorrow will need empathy, authenticity and the ability to build trust as well as technology and transformational skills. If you look at leadership in the future, you are going to have to wear so many hats, why wouldn't you share that load?"

Succession planning is critical in making sure you get the very best CEO or co-CEOs for your business. In the worst cases, succession planning can be "static and little more than an annual process of filling in the names on boxes, where, come the moment, the names in boxes are rarely the people appointed", according to @Gareth Jones, director at Diverse Talent Networks.

At its best, succession planning is a dynamic process "supported by rich conversations about and with diverse talent, and where candidates are actively developed for succession",

It's now more important than ever to embed an organisation's diversity, equity and inclusion strategy into succession planning, ensuring that you limit groupthink in the future and attract, develop and retain senior leaders that truly reflect your clients.

If you’d like to meet and build relationships with future CEOs and co-CEOs from underrepresented groups, get in touch.

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