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Meet the new boss—and prepare for a possible job change

Incoming CEOs often make major staff changes, for many reasons; senior staff owe allegiance, but should protect themselves

Oct. 28, 2016
By William Ehart

It’s a danger that all senior executives face when a new CEO is hired: No matter your tenure, your skills or loyalty to the organization, the incoming chief may want to make changes to the staff he or she has inherited.

In fact, seniority and a wide range of responsibilities—and the attendant high salary you might command—could work against you.

Some new CEOs are quick with the ax, others move more slowly, but the result might be the same: Staff shake-ups are common with a CEO transition.

“There could be many reasons why they want change,” said Susan Medick, formerly CFO and COO at the $18 million-revenue Auto Care Association, where she had worked for 22 years.

“A lot of times they just want to bring in their own people. Or perhaps the skill set you bring to the table is not the skill set they are looking for,” she said.

In her case, new CEO Bill Hanvey restructured her position. (ACA’s staff directory now lists a CFO but no COO.)