What does the Role of the Interim CEO do?
Interim CEOs fill a leadership gap in times of transition, this may be due to retirement, or the previous CEO did not work out for the organisation.
An experienced Interim CEO who comes into your company has already completed many successful engagements affording them the exceptional focus needed to cross industries, tackle multiple challenges, and positively impact your business quickly.
The Interim CEO’s priority is to keep the organisation as normal as possible during the transition period while not fulfilling the visionary and facilitator roles of the permanent CEO.
The responsibilities are to maintain the status quo, support and direct the staff, resolve emergencies, and stop unethical and legal problems from being created or continued.
If an existing board exists, they may direct any additional tasks that must be attended to—EG Annual statutory audit and employee performance reviews. The Board and the Interim CEO agree that what is and isn’t to be addressed at the front end of the interim period must be critical.
The challenge for the interim is to do this without “putting a personal stamp” on the organisation, as a permanent CEO would be expected to do. This would depend on how long the replacement CEO will join the company.
In our experience, the longer the time the new CEO joins the company will depend on what the interim CEO can do. If the new CEO cannot start or you have not found a suitable CEO, say by six months, the interim CEO should continue with plans already in place. This way, the momentum is continued in the organisation.
One exception is if an organisation needs to be restructured, starting with a significant amount of reorganisation. In this case, this role and expectations for the Interim are discussed at the beginning by the Board. The Interim is brought in to do the destruction and lay the initial foundation for the new organisation. That person is associated with many complex and uncomfortable stuff and leaves when it is primarily done. The new CEO can then start without all that negative association and a fresh start.
What are the advantages of the interim CEO?
The interim CEO would be available immediately; they can start the ground running.
This is useful when urgent matters are required to be dealt with. They will have various industry experiences to help introduce new ideas and focus. They can bring new systems and processes to an organisation. They can also source resources from their vast networks. E.g. Outsourced staff to assist an immediate requirement of the organisation?
An Interim CEO can fill the gap immediately while the search is along with the permanent CEO.
NFPs (Not for Profits) can benefit immensely from interim CEOs. A skilled interim serves a different purpose than a permanent CEO, and getting the right person is crucial. Finding someone who can hit the ground running, have an impact and understand the unique role of an interim CEO will make all the difference to any period of change or transition an NFP might experience.
The interim CEO can be cost-effective, as bonuses, severance pay, and other benefits can be avoided. The interim CEO can work flexible hours to suit the organisation.
Abdera Business Services offers interim ceo services, please get in touch to discuss your needs.