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World Retail Congress 2010 Day3

Despite the majority of chief executives of the largest global retailers recognising that internal talent and leadership represents their biggest competitive advantage very few of them are involved in succession planning, according to research from Korn Ferry International. By Glynn Davis in Berlin

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

World Retail Congress 2010 Day3

Delegates heard at the World Retail Congress 2010 that while as many as 70 per cent of chief executives saw talent as a key differentiator, only a paltry 17 per cent undertook succession planning and a mere 20 per cent of boards talked about this vitally important issue.

Ian Cheshire, chief executive of Kingfisher, found it incredulous that so few leaders of large global retailers should overlook this crucial aspect of their businesses, especially as he says: “As a CEO the last most important job I’ll do is to leave the board with a choice of candidates who will do a better job than me.”

At Kingfisher he has placed the nurturing of talent as a key ingredient towards helping him take the group on a journey from being a company that has been composed of “disjointed country positions” to one that is an “integrated international business”. 

Part of this has been the identification of the top 250 people within Kingfisher who have the potential to be senior executives in the company and who are given specific training as well as being moved around the group’s international operating units to enhance their overall skills and enhance their value to the business.

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