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New CEOs should cultivate board, engage naysayers

Aug. 21, 2015
By William Ehart

Being a new CEO is a lonely position, but executives should tap in to the goodwill a board naturally feels for the person it hired, says Scott Wiley, CEO of The Ohio Society of CPAs.

“Work with your board as you create your onboarding strategy,” Wiley said during a session at ASAE15. “It’s essential for a new CEO to make sure to help the board get in your corner. A board that hires you wants you to be successful.”

Wiley helped lead the learning lab “You’ve Got the Job: Make the First 30-60-90 Days a Success,” along with Chris McEntee, CEO of the American Geophysical Union and Christie Tarantino, chief executive of the Institute of Food Technologists.

McEntee and Tarantino said it also is critical to engage the naysayers on the board and elsewhere.

Tarantino faced some disaffection when she took on her first top executive job at the Academy of General Dentistry because of changes in governance made by her predecessor. Past board presidents felt disenfranchised. Tarantino said she took time to listen to them.