Finding a new CEO is difficult for most companies because the board cannot meet constantly to find the person that is going to lead the company on a daily basis. These board members have other things they must do, and the company will begin to languish if there is no CEO. The board can vote to hire a fir to find the new CEO, and the process will be taken care of until the board votes to bring in the new CEO as their leader.
Finding The People
The CEO search is going to be easier for the board, and the firm goes out to find people to interview. Recruiters like Dennis Carey of Korn/Ferry International have the expertise to know exactly what to look for when it comes to CEO succession. The vetting process begins as soon as interviews begin, and the firm will find people based on these interviews. There will be a file for the people who are taking the interviews. The vetting process will continue until the firm has a few people left to choose from. Most firms will bring the finalists to the board unless one person is clearly more distinguished than the others.
The firm is going to dig very deep to find out what each person is like. They are going to do a lot of research into person to make sure that these people are going to be right for the company, and the vetting process will find potential PR nightmares that could hurt the company if this person is hired in the future. The search firm has to do a lot of homework before they make their recommendation, and they will make sure that they have checked everything before making a final recommendation.
The search firm is going to negotiate terms of a contract with each person. Some people may not be happy with their package, and the negotiations may break down before these people get to the board. The search firm will make sure that someone who reasonable goes before the board, and the board usually gives permission for negotiating to make sure the new CEO has a contract ready to sign when they meet the board.
The final product is going to be a CEO that is ready to start work almost immediately. The people on the board only need to vote on the person that has been found, and the people on the board do not do the work on their own. This is far simpler and more effective than anything other method.