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As Goes the CEO, So Does the CHRO

August 9th, 2019

CHRO report

It pays to be a woman, have a Master's degree and to keep your eye on the CEO if your ambition is to head human resources at a Fortune 200 company.

In 2018, 31 new Chief Human Resources Officers were annointed by the Fortune 200; 65% of them female. Just over half had never previously held the top HR job; 19% had no or little previous HR experience at all. All the new CHROs had college degrees; 48% held a Master's or other advanced degree.

One particularly striking, if not entirely surprising finding reported in a study of Fortune 200 HR leaders by the Talent Strategy Group, is that when a CEO departs, there's a strong likelihood the CHRO will be gone within a year. The HR Trends Class of 2018 study reports that only about 48% of CHROs still had their job a year after a CEO transition.

The report notes that last year there were 25 CEO transitions among the Fortune 200. Through the end of Q1 of this year, 8 of the CHROs at those companies were gone.

Last year's new class of CHROs had some heavy lifting ahead. The Trends report says the average stock price at their new company was down 16%. "On average, " the report notes, these companies "underperformed by more than 2.5x that of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 indices."

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