Over the past year, the CEO practice at Spencer Stuart has been undertaking a research project on CEO succession and performance.  They looked at every CEO who served an S&P Company between 2004-2016 (that's 689 CEOs, if you are wondering) and they are drip releasing the results.

The first set of data looks at succession.  According to the research, an average of 11% of S&P 500 firms hire a new CEO in the average year.  What's interesting, however, is how more and more of those firms are recruiting from within;  In 2004, 25% of CEOs were recruited from outside; by 2015, the figure was down to 10%.  In 2016, the figure dropped to 7%.  Recruiting from within, but it tends to imply a lot of "first time CEOs".

In his LinkedIn blog on the topic, James Citrin, Leader of the CEO practice at Spencer Stuart puts this down to several factors, highlighting the ongoing focus of boards on succession planning.  However, he also argues that - in some cases - Boards believe that they have "failed" if they have to hire from outside.

Citrin goes on to talk about the ramifications of this trend for both Board Directors and aspiring CEOs.  It's a good read and will, no doubt, be the first of an interesting series of articles on the topic.