Developing Generations of CEOs

The River Group was founded with a former CEO client who had a passion for the role and the wisdom to know that it wasn’t about him - it was about developing others.

Our work on CEO development and succession provides many benefits. For Boards it’s about fulfilling their primary responsibility. For current CEOs it’s about maximizing impact and growing in the role. For near term successors it’s about getting ready. For the company it’s about identifying the first line supervisor who has the potential, and helping her get there.

CEO Succession Planning

It’s all about preparation. Boards must prepare the company for any scenario, from a sudden loss of leadership to near-term planned succession to identifying and retaining viable successors over the long term. But few do it well. The business news is littered with examples of significant value destruction caused by CEO transitions gone awry. Scandals, implosions and CEOs who stayed on far longer than necessary create real damage to market valuations and company reputations. There is a better way, and we combine a robust methodology with experience to help Boards fulfill what many believe is their most important task: CEO Succession.

CEO Excellence

Let’s face it: CEOs need development too, especially in the first two years of their tenure. It is a unique and challenging role. While there are many aspects you can prepare for, there are many you can only learn about once you are in the chair. To help our CEO clients, we bring proprietary research with over 75 CEOs and combine it with decades of experience working with over 100 CEOs on a wide variety of personal, organizational and governance challenges. Our founder started River with us because he knew, as a former CEO client himself, that we have unique insights to offer.

Next-Generation CEO Identification

Most companies have identified “the usual suspects” as potential CEO successors. Some earlier career executives are perceived to be future rock stars and others categorized as safe bets. Too often these judgments are based on limited data and remain as untested hypotheses. Worse yet, unconscious biases limit the field of vision for potential CEO candidates. Identifying those who “fit the profile” is only helpful if your profile is actually valid. We have methods for identifying future CEOs and enterprise C-Suite leaders that combine valid, research based tools with robust assessment and development techniques. When it comes to future CEOs, you can’t get what you want until you know what you need AND know how to find them.

Success Stories


Fortune 500 Building Materials Company: Raising The Roof


Global Fortune 500 Snack Food Company: Growing Brand Leaders

Read Our Insights on Developing Generations of CEOs