Leadership Factories

Companies differ markedly in their ability to produce future leaders, as several recent analyses of the 1,187 largest publicly traded U.S. companies revealed. Among the CEOs in one study, a remarkable total of 26 once worked at General Electric (GE).

 

However, as the following table shows, on a per-employee basis, that ability earns GE only tenth place in terms of the likelihood of a current or former employee becoming CEO of a large company. Top on the list is management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Amazingly, if we extrapolate into the future from the current stock of McKinsey alums who are CEOs, of every

1,060 McKinsey employees, one will become CEO of a Fortune 1000 company.

 

Company Size (employees) CEOs produced Odds
McKinsey & Co. 17,000 16 1.061:1
Baxter International 48,500 11 4,410:1
Motorola 60,000 7 8,750:1
Intel 82,500 8 10,310:1
Proctor & Gamble (P&G) 127,000 12 10,580:1
General Electric (GE) 287,000 26 11,040:1
Ernst & Young 144,000 12 12,000:1

 

Some companies did not fare nearly as well, such as Citigroup (odds: 30,180:1), AT&T (odds: 23,220:1) and Johnson & Johnson (odds: 15,275:1). While some might dismiss the results, not surprisingly, the companies at the top of the list do not. “We are a leadership engine and a talent machine,” said retiring Procter & Gamble CEO A. G. Lafley.

 

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