Last updated: June 3

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Top 13 reasons to use our C-Suite Optimization Program

Delight your board and investors with CEO performance optimization.

The statistic that 30% to 50% of new CEOs fail within 18 months of starting the new role is generally not because of CEO incompetence, but the lack of structured onboarding and ongoing support offered to the CEO in the first 12 to 18 months (Harvard Business Review, After the Handshake, Succession doesn’t end when a new CEO is hired, Dan Ciampa, 2016).

In a customized study Westgate completed in 2018 of CEOs and other C-levels across North America, we found the key success strategy performance is the leader’s ability to embrace and respond to change and manage relationships up and down the organization. Rapid response to changing local, national, and international market conditions is required for operational success.

According to one public company CEO we interviewed in eastern North America relating to CEO and executive performance: “Don’t let the status quo or a random opportunity determine your future. Take your career management planning into your own hands today by (1) knowing your performance metrics (2) communicating your results to decision-makers and (3) letting decision-makers know of your intentions.”

He adds, “Even if you are a humble executive who keeps your head down and your team busy, it is critical that your higher-ups are aware of your performance and your potential.”

The higher-ups include many stakeholders, such as the board, investors, regulators, and employees, and this is how Westgate helps. Strategic support makes the difference between a successful onboarding process or a disappointingly short tenure of a CEO who leaves abruptly.

Disclaimer: Always consult an attorney, business advisor, and/or financial advisor if you are unsure about how to proceed. This information is for education and information purposes only and is not intended as legal or financial advice.

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The top 13 reasons CSOP is good for business and your customers

We help reduce CEO turnover and optimize board performance using an exclusive personal branding framework for CEOs—

When the board:

1. Is planning a post-bankruptcy IPO to help increase business valuation, improve initial share price, and maximize value.

2. Has or is planning to appoint an internal candidate to the CEO role (who are often first-time CEOs).

3. Needs to raise the company’s visibility outside the organization and industry to pique the interest of investors, customers, suppliers, and other benefactors.

4. Wants to enhance the company’s positioning in the media, the SEC, and the stock exchanges.

5. Is seeking their first institutional investor.

6. Requires a thoughtful exit strategy for key leaders to help them transition with dignity.

A beautiful glass chessboard

When the CEO:

7. Is seeking a dark social digital visibility campaign to grab attention and showcase thought leadership beyond established networks.

8. Is appointed internally and needs to navigate the tricky relationships with an existing team and employees.

When the private equity firm:

9. Works with highly sensitive information and circumstances.

10. Has lost a major customer or shareholder and the CEO's messaging needs to attract new investors.

11. Needs support to make decisions faster and safer.

12. Requires assistance getting employees onboard after a post-merger integration.

13. Needs to respond to shareholder activism and relations with key shareholders.

A computer shows shareholder metrics on a laptop and on an iphone

In greater detail—we help optimize performance and reduce stress

When the board:

1. Is planning an initial public offering (IPO). We help organizations prepare for a profitable exit to public and private markets. We support the CEO and board through increased business valuation, maximizing the initial share price, and maximizing investor volume. A refined pitch can better attract institutional investors during the IPO process and Westgate helps optimize these elements through personal branding and executive coaching.

2. Has or is planning to appoint an internal candidate to the CEO role who is often a first-time CEO. Navigating a new landscape internally can be challenging, especially if there were internal CEO candidates. The pressure to perform is heightened and communication within teams internally can be negatively impacted. Bringing in an objective third party for support can help mitigate this risk.

3. Needs to raise corporate visibility externally beyond the industry to pique the interest of investors, customers, suppliers, and other benefactors. Often when a new CEO takes the company public they may benefit from a heightened profile. Doing so can assist in improving the quality of these key external relationships, including joint ventures and unique supplier relationships, as two examples.

4. Wants to enhance the company’s positioning in the media, the SEC, and the stock exchanges. Uncovering the CEO’s authentic voice using signature stories strengthens positive communications and personal confidence. Potential outcomes include effective annual shareholder meetings, improved reputation, and smoother interactions with key stakeholders, to name a few.  

5. Is seeking their first institutional investor. The CEO may be well-known industry-wide but may not have the required relationships and visibility to attract, engage, and recruit institutional investors. This is especially relevant when the company has recently merged or re-branded corporately. Westgate’s solution to this problem involves raising visibility and credibility by positioning the CEO for a board appointment in a company outside the industry. We support the CEO and board with effective communication support and implementation strategies, all of which will produce a premium brand.

6. Requires a thoughtful exit strategy for key leaders to help them transition with dignity. It is important to support employees because doing so has an impact on an organization’s reputation. Westgate not only helps build a strategic exit for board members and C-level executives but also helps carry out the process by supporting their personal branding. These strategies can also be built into SOPs for the future adding sustainable value.

When the CEO:

7. Needs to attract prospective, suppliers, employees, or investors. We use a dark social digital visibility campaign to attract attention and showcase thought leadership beyond established networks. According to marketing firm RadiumOne, in 2017, dark social shares as a percent of on-site shares jumped from 69% to 84% globally. Dark social refers to the hidden world of interpersonal engagement (without attribution). It is effective and is included in Westgate’s digital visibility efforts.

8. Is recently appointed and needs to navigate relationships with an existing team. As mentioned, navigating a new landscape internally can be challenging, especially if there were internal CEO candidates. The pressure to perform is heightened and communication between teams internally can be negatively impacted. Bringing in an objective third party for support can help mitigate this risk by strengthening relationships, which will improve performance faster enabling the CEO to focus on implementing the plan.

When the private equity firm:

9. Is dealing with highly sensitive information and circumstances. Westgate is a 100% independent firm; companies feel confident in this impartiality. Clients have hired us from varying organizations and industries to help support them in a discreet manner. Your leader will succeed using our customized and highly personalized support and optimization strategies. Our clients ultimately enjoy a refreshed brand and optimized performance potential setting the foundation in as little as 90 days. We understand firsthand the critical nature of your organization’s position in the marketplace. As a certified member of several professional career associations, Westgate is bound by the ethics and best practices of our industry.

10. Has lost a major customer or shareholder and the CEO's messaging needs to attract new investors or customers. As certified resume writers and personal branding experts, we understand the importance of crystal clear messaging that attracts the right audiences and reaches the set goals. It can be a tremendous help to bring in objective resources to help redefine and reestablish key messaging. We write, coach, consult and advise based on 25+ years of corporate experience. An example is assisting with messaging post-bankruptcy when the CEO must instill investor confidence in the marketplace.

11. Needs support in making important decisions faster and safer. Timing is imperative in the private equity world and bringing in some temporary, additional support for the most important milestones in a PE journey can make all the difference. We protect the board’s investment in selecting the new CEO to reinforce business plans early to help the new CEO make rapid and decisive moves that foster success for the future. New leaders often struggle, not because their financial or operational abilities are inadequate, but because their style or political skills render them unprepared to manage the new organization’s culture. Helping leaders understand the culture and leverage their soft skills to successfully navigate it will help a seamless transition.

  • “Internal politics and lack of management support remain the greatest obstacles in developing effective new leaders, according to more than 50% of the survey respondents” (Change is Happening: Is your workforce ready? Many power utilities companies are not, according to a recent PWC survey, PWC, 2012).
  • “Top competencies include leadership, decision-making, and serving as the go-to person for senior management and the board of directors” (People, Politics, and the Power Industry: How Smart Executives Retain Top Talent and Keep the Lights on, Maureen Farmer, 2017).

12. Needs assistance helping employees transition during post-merger integration or to new owners. In a new role, uncertainty is the last emotion an employee should feel. Role ambiguity leads to a loss in productivity, a decline in employee engagement, and a loss of trust. Reducing role ambiguity reduces potential conflict and creates healthy workplace culture. Westgate establishes a smooth transition plan post-merger by supporting the c-suite executives in their communication, expectations, and leadership performance.

13. Requires help with shareholder activism and relations with key shareholders. Westgate helps to support the CEO with confidence, so there are no surprises before or during the annual meeting of shareholders.

Your return on investment (ROI)

Executive engagement and board of director relationships are keys to optimizing performance through reduced senior-level turnover. Performance Optimization is an insurance policy that your chosen candidate delivers their role with success and impact.

For CHROs, private equity funds, operating partners, and boards of directors

Learn about the C-Suite Optimization Program (CSOP), which is designed to help your new CEO on board safely and effectively thereby protecting your investment in the new leader. By doing so, you will reinforce your business plans early and help the CEO make the kinds of rapid and decisive moves that help foster success in the long term.

For aspiring CEOs, C-levels, and business leaders

Learn about the Career Navigator Program (CNP) now in its eleventh year. Jump-start your C-level trajectory with a proven process and framework used by thousands. And, leverage the global labor market by uncovering a powerful brand that will speak on your behalf in front of organizations who don’t know about you. A powerful brand speaks for you when you’re not in the room while thriving during economic downturns because strong bands weather difficult times.

Get in touch

If Westgate can serve as a resource to your CEO and board, we’d be happy to explore with you. Drawing on 25 years’ corporate experience and serving organizations in the United States and Canada, Westgate Executive Branding is a 100% independent firm with no affiliations with recruitment or outplacement firms.

To secure a personal and confidential appointment, please contact Maddison at maddison@westgatecareercoaching.com.

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About executive resume writing author 

Westgate - Maureen Farmer

Maureen Farmer is the Founder & CEO of Westgate Executive Branding & Career Consulting Inc., an international personal branding and career consulting firm delivering premier executive branding and career consulting services for high-profile leaders. Author of The CEO Script Vault: Job Search Scripts for Busy Executives, Maureen believes that when we’re doing work aligned with our values, everyone wins. Using the law of attraction to identify quality employers utilizing the hidden job market is a cornerstone of her career management strategy.

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