Path to CEO role in Ireland now faster than global average

According to a new report, prior experience in senior management positions is no longer essential to be considered for the top position.

Leading recruitment consultancy Heidrick & Struggles revealed that 35 per cent of those appointed to chief executives in Ireland had no C-suite experience before getting the job.

This is 17 percent higher than the global average trend and 16 percent higher than the UK, suggesting the route to top corporate jobs is shorter here than in other countries.

The results are based on an annual study of ISEQ-listed companies.

The survey of these companies found that the rise in CEOs with no prior C-suite experience rose by more than a third year-over-year, suggesting companies are adopting new approaches to post-pandemic succession planning.

“Today’s business leaders need to demonstrate their expertise in matters related to ever-evolving issues such as technological change and ESG,” said Partner Stafford Bagot.

“They must demonstrate resilience in the face of external factors, from pandemics and economic volatility to geopolitical uncertainties.”

“Today’s results suggest that [Irish companies] are increasingly attracted to candidates with new perspectives who have evolved beyond the C-suite,” he added.

Almost two-thirds of CEO appointments were still made internally, consistent with the company’s previous surveys.

“Irish companies show a great appreciation for succession planning and preparation for leadership roles within their own organisation, identifying candidates who offer deep institutional memory and a fresh approach,” added Mr Bagot.

Ireland was also slightly ahead of its global peers, with 10 per cent of CEO positions held by women. This puts it in third place in Europe behind Norway and Sweden.

However, the report stressed that much remains to be done to achieve gender diversity at senior management level. Path to CEO role in Ireland now faster than global average

Fry Electronics Team

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