So close and yet so far: Promotion versus exit for CEO heirs apparent

Albert Cannella, Wei Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

235 Scopus citations


"Heirs apparent" are frequently a central component of CEO successions but have been largely ignored in the succession literature. Our study examines heir apparent tenures and two contrasting outcomes - promotion to CEO and firm exit. We propose that the distribution of power among an incumbent CEO, outside directors, and an heir apparent influences these outcomes. Results suggest that outside director and CEO power are important influences on heir promotion and exit and that heirs who arise from within a firm are less likely to exit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-270
Number of pages19
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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