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Darla Moore School of Business

Research and Resources

The Moore School created the Center for Executive Succession to leverage the world-class faculty research capability and a unique corporate/academic partnership to provide cutting-edge research in the issues, challenges and best practices regarding C-suite succession.

Current Research Projects

Please contact if interested in participating in our research.

This year’s survey went out to more than 400 Chief HR Officers and explored how CHROs allocate their time to various aspects of the role, the capability of the HR function they lead, how current external challenges and trends are impacting executive succession efforts, diversity in the C-suite and board, the CHRO’s role in ESG, and how companies are navigating and responding to socio-political issues. Resulting reports will be available soon.

The 2022 HR@Moore Survey of Chief HR Officers explored the identification, development and retention of high potentials and other executives as well as the assessment of potential CEO successors. It also examined aspects of CFO succession planning practices and collected data on ESG efforts. Four reports will stem from the survey:

Managing High Potentials and Executives

The first report centers on the identification, development and retention of high potentials and executives as well as the assessment of potential CEO successors.

The Chief Human Resources Officer Role

The second report provides an up-to-date glimpse into how the CHRO role continues to evolve. Given the increasing calls for companies (and particularly their senior executives) to take public stands on what might be considered political issues, the report also examines the political beliefs of both CEOs and CHROs to determine the level of alignment between the two.

ESG Trends

The third report highlights the attention executive leadership teams are paying towards environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and many of the specific ESG initiatives occupying their time. It also addresses the connection between ESG and company impact.

Current State of CEO Succession Planning Practices 

The fourth report focuses on a number of issues regarding CEO succession, including time the CHRO spends with the board on executive succession, the effectiveness of CEO succession planning activities, activities where the board and CEO are successful and less effective in succession planning, the CEO’s effectiveness in the process, and the diversity of the CEO succession pipeline.


This study examines how potential candidates for the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role are identified, the approaches commonly used to increase a candidate’s readiness, the procedures used to make the final selection, best practices in onboarding and obstacles that may arise at each stage. In the spirit of our highly esteemed “CEO Succession Planning Playbook”, the outcome of this study will be a comprehensive guide specifically geared toward the unique succession planning process for the critical role of CFO. Our research team is in the process of interviewing current and former CFOs, members of the Board of Directors and CHROs to capture and consider every vantage point. If you have this level of experience with CFO selection and would like to be part of the interview process, please contact us at

This study examines the practices of building a new executive leadership team when a new CEO and/or C-suite executive is placed. The transition process is extremely important, yet there are few processes established to help effectively accelerate executive team development. If you have this level of experience with building the ELT and would like to contribute to our research, please contact us at

This study focuses on differences in the effectiveness of succession planning activities performed across companies with different board governance structures, with a primary focus on the differences between companies who have an independent board chair vs. those with a non-independent (CEO or Executive) chair and a lead director. The goal of the project is to identify if different board governance structures influence the effectiveness of succession planning activities conducted by the board and management.

In this study, we are focused on how experience in HR among board members influences the board's engagement with CEO succession planning and the effectiveness of such efforts. We also examine whether the existence of HR expertise among board members enhances the effectiveness and attentional engagement of other directors on the board, particularly those who have been CEOs of other companies in the past.  

The pandemic has exacerbated challenges faced by working parents, particularly straining many working mothers. At the same time, building diverse talent pipelines has taken center stage. In this study, we explore two aspects of organizations and their ability to retain and attract employees. First, we conducted a pilot study examining whether working mothers, in particular, have their impressions of their employer positively influenced based on the parenthood status of the CEO. Initial results suggest that working mothers and women who would like to become mothers perceive their employer more favorably when the employer has a woman CEO with children. In a follow up, we are leveraging data on CEO parenthood status and Glassdoor reviews to determine whether employees more positively rate their companies depending on the parenthood status of the CEO.

In this study, we are building a database of executive leadership team turnover over a 10-year period. The end goal is to illustrate how a focus on the turnover of a wider group of top executives than often discussed (typically the Named Executive Officers in the proxy statement) influences future organizational performance. In particular, we will explore how the quantity and timing of turnover might have differential impacts of subsequent performance. 


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