2015 Incoming Class of CEOs

Annually, Strategy& assesses what companies look for in their CEOs by analyzing the decisions companies make when it’s time to choose a new leader. In this year’s report, we take a special look at outsider CEOs and the circumstances in which they are being hired. Companies are now making a deliberate choice to bring in outsider CEOs. In the latest four-year period (2012–15), boards chose outsiders in 22% of planned turnovers, up from 14% in 2004–07. CEO turnover at the 2500 largest companies in the world rose from 14.3% in 2014 to 16.6% in 2015—a record high for the CEO Success study. Only 10 women were among the 359 incoming CEOs at the world’s 2500 largest companies in 2015. At 2.8%, that was the lowest share since 2011.The global CEO is a myth. Just 28% of incoming CEOs at the world’s 2500 largest companies had international work experience, down from 45% in 2012.

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