COVID-19 Crisis is Accelerating Boardroom Changes

New Street Group research which shows how the COVID-19 crisis is accelerating the number of board changes is quoted in the Financial Times this morning.

You can read the FT article here.

Our analysis of announcements by UK stock market listed businesses shows that there were 232 board changes in April 2020, compared to a monthly average of 206 changes over the previous two years. We are also seeing a similar trend in May.

Major businesses like Royal Mail, easyJet, Aston Martin and Purplebricks are among those to change their CEOs and CFOs in just the last two weeks. The number of changes at the top in the real estate sector is particularly notable.

The economic impact of the “lockdown” has forced businesses to assess whether their boards have the right mix of skills to respond to the new challenges of the pandemic.

The challenges of leading a business during a time of crisis are often very different to the challenges of growing a business during more benign economic conditions. Our study shows that boards are bringing forward succession plans and accelerating the pace of change to make sure they are able to respond to the crisis.

We’re now seeing skills like restructuring, cost management, risk management and financial planning & analysis at a premium. Senior executives and non-executives who have experience of leading businesses through the last financial crisis are in great demand.

We’re even seeing some positive changes, like executives being released from their gardening leave clauses earlier than they would normally. This allows them to get to their new employer quicker to help fight fires.

If your business needs help in getting the right blend of skills and experience on the board to deal with the crisis and recovery, we’re here to help. Get in touch to discuss your requirements.

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