We get involved in a lot of leadership succession planning projects where clients have internal candidates that they want to benchmark against external ones, usually from a competitor.
Our headhunting process is very robust and allows us to dig deep, engage with the target industry potential candidates and deliver a high calibre candidate shortlist for our clients to assess and benchmark against their internals.
We have genuinely found some superstars but it is common for companies to opt for their own mainly due to a nervousness around continue with who you already know, reduce the risk of an external failure because they don't know the company and its culture.
This Harvard article makes interesting reading and confirms that internal appointments will provide a better impact in the short term but that external hires will add more over a 5 year period.
Looks like short term pain definitely leads to long term gain!!
Lee Powers/Getty Images One of the most important and challenging decisions faced by corporate directors is whether to promote a new CEO from within or to hire new talent when a CEO leaves the company. Both have advantages. Inside candidates, often groomed by their predecessors, bring firm-, market-, and industry-specific knowledge that outsiders might take years to acquire. In contrast, outsiders bring different experiential knowledge to the strategic decision-making position and are often seen as able to make dramatic changes that an insider might not consider. So which CEOs are “better”? The empirical literature on CEO succession is mixed, finding either no differences in firm performance or that insiders have slightly better results than outsiders.