Client Success Stories

Supporting a Critical CEO Succession

Leading Japanese Professional Services Company


Our client’s long-time CEO had chosen the COO as his successor. The decision was based on the COO’s impeccable track record of achievements and the deep loyalty he inspired from employees. Many employees believed that the COO was the only sensible candidate for the job. However, shortly after the COO was formally named as the successor, the CEO began to express doubts about his decision because the COO’s leadership style differed greatly from his own. As concerns festered, the relationship between the two executives deteriorated.


Our executive coach worked together as well as one-on-one with both executives to discover the root causes of their conflict and help them find their own path forward to a successful leadership transition. In parallel, our coach also worked directly with other members of our client’s leadership team to ensure the quality of the relationships across the C-suite would contribute to a smooth succession.


The outgoing CEO recognized that his successor’s leadership style, while different from his own, would give the organization the leadership needed to sustain its strong business results. And the COO learned how to develop aspects of his leadership style in preparation for taking on his new role. The transitioned happened smoothly, and employees view the new CEO’s leadership style to be a natural fit for the new company vision.