Short term CEO

They are called CEOs, CFOs and CTOs, but for no more than a month to a quarter of a year.

Nick named as ‘bubble CEOs’ because of the short life-span, they are the latest effort to beat the severe scarcity at the top of the management heap.

Having a hot-seat for awhile, before getting into another top assignment is a happening trend among global CEOs who have been around and seen it all. Though they are there for a short term, they are a highly sought after fraternity in the western world and now India is slowly taking a similar route according to a Boston based executive talent consultant.

Finding suitable CEO replacements has become extremely tough for Indian companies across verticals. As a result, executive leasing is becoming a way out. So, do not be surprised if you meet someone who heads and manages three companies, all at the same time on a ‘temporary basis’.

An interim CEO who did not want to be named, had 27 years of experience in working across industries and geographies. He is currently an interim CEO of a MNC in Bangalore. The MNC wants to hire him full-time, but he likes to move on and meet a new firm every quarter or would like to work with more than a firm at a time.

In India, interim leadership arrangements mostly happen due to delay in finding replacement or may be the company would have already identified a candidate but he would have asked for some time to join.

Whatever may be the reason, Indian companies normally do not like to talk about such arrangements as the mindset is yet to change.

Such short-term top talent induction is also common among companies looking at new business ideas, fresh markets, a better focus a corporate re-orientation or a re-jig, a strategy change or a complete re-engineering.

Short term CEOs are even called in by an existing CEO and his management team in order to help stimulate diversified thinking and ideas.

Headhunters say that seasoned professionals with over 20 years of working experience have been in touch with them to get into such assignments. In the next two to five years, India will have a large number of such top talents who do not want to get into a year long commitment, but enjoy taking up multiple assignments in a year.