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Interim CEO (Chief Executive Officer)




What is an interim CEO?

An interim CEO (Chief Executive Officer) is an experienced temporary leader who takes responsibility for the overall management and operations of an organization. The role works closely with all levels of management to achieve business goals and ensure organizational success. Some common tasks include strategic planning, resource allocation, performance management, and change leadership. An interim CEO has broad business understanding and extensive experience in leading organizations through various challenges.

As an interim CEO, building strong relationships with the people who perform, including employees, owners, and the board, is paramount. This means that an interim CEO is someone who quickly grasps and understands the organization and how employees perform, and engages in their processes. An interim CEO is attuned to and comprehends the motivations and future plans of the owners. They will effectively understand and communicate with the board and owners of the business, aligning their actions with the organization's long-term vision.

Furthermore, an interim CEO is capable of taking the organization from its current state to a new situation that is novel and evolving in a desired direction.


When and why to hire an interim CEO?

  1. Leadership Transition: Companies often hire an interim CEO during periods of leadership transition, such as sudden departures, planned retirements, or when searching for a permanent CEO. The interim CEO provides immediate stability, ensuring continuity of operations and maintaining strategic direction.

  2. Organizational Restructuring: During times of significant organizational change or restructuring, an interim CEO can bring in fresh perspective and objective insights to navigate complex challenges. They have the experience to implement necessary transformations and drive the company forward.

  3. Crisis Management: In times of crisis or challenging market conditions, an interim CEO can provide strong leadership and decisive action. They bring a steady hand to guide the organization through turbulent times, mitigate risks, and capitalize on opportunities.

  4. Business Turnaround: When a company is facing financial difficulties or operational inefficiencies, an interim CEO with a track record in business turnarounds can bring the necessary expertise to drive operational improvements, optimize resources, and restore profitability.

  5. Merger or Acquisition Integration: During the integration of two companies, an interim CEO can lead the process, ensuring a smooth transition, harmonizing cultures, and maximizing synergies to achieve the desired outcomes.

  6. Board or Investor Relations: Interim CEOs can be valuable in situations where strong leadership is required to manage relationships with the board of directors, investors, and other stakeholders. They can provide transparency, confidence, and effective communication during critical periods.

  7. Expert Guidance and Mentoring: An interim CEO can also support and coach the new permanent CEO from the sidelines to ensure a good handover, facilitate knowledge transfer, and provide guidance during the early stages of their tenure.

By hiring an interim CEO, companies gain access to experienced leaders who can provide stability, strategic guidance, and effective execution during times of transition or challenging circumstances. They bring a wealth of knowledge, a fresh perspective, and the ability to drive organizational success.


How do we find the best interim CEO candidate for you?

We have perfected our method over more than 20 years and built a network of over 3000 experienced leaders, with a global reach of 60,000 interim leaders. Our primary strength as an interim service provider is understanding, evaluating, and finding solutions while continuously following up on the business. We also assess the effectiveness of the interim assignment for 2-3 years after completion. When you reach out to solve your leadership challenge, we follow this process:

  1. Together with you, we define the assignment and set the objectives for the assignment period.
  2. We advertise the assignment to our interim leaders, screen the best applicants, and send them to you anonymously.
  3. Together with you, we select candidates for interviews and conduct them (all candidates are quality assured before the interview).
  4. You choose your preferred interim leader.
  5. The interim leader begins the assignment!

We provide ongoing support and follow-up for both you and the interim leader throughout the assignment.


A selection of our completed interim CEO assignments

Read more about our CEO assignments below. See all our reference articles here, and feel free to contact us for references related to your assignment. We also provide leaders for similar positions such as Country Manager, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), General Manager, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Executive Director, and Managing Director.