Middle East Leads with Highest C-Suite Experience Prevalence

2 mins read
Saudi Arabia

The 2023 Route to the Top report by Heidrick & Struggles has revealed intriguing insights into CEO appointments worldwide, shedding light on the significance of prior C-suite experience in leadership roles. According to the report, Middle Eastern companies stand out, with a remarkable 90% of CEOs boasting previous C-suite roles, signalling a shift in leadership criteria in today’s dynamic business landscape.

Regional analysis in the report demonstrates varying emphases on prior C-suite experience among CEOs globally. Following the Middle East, Latin American firms report an 84% rate, while Asia-Pacific (APAC) companies show a rate of 79%. Interestingly, specific markets such as Poland (29%) and Switzerland (26%) exhibit a high prevalence of CEOs with prior C-suite experience, showcasing diverse approaches to leadership selection across different cultural and business contexts.

The significance of C-suite experience is underscored by the report’s findings, highlighting a growing trend where the path to the CEO role increasingly traverses through previous high-level managerial positions. This trend reflects the value companies place on comprehensive business acumen and experience in navigating today’s complex global market challenges.

Furthermore, insights from the report point towards a broader discussion on the qualities and trajectories of successful CEOs. Beyond tactical expertise gained from C-suite roles, the report emphasises the importance of character, adaptability, and a learning mindset in modern leadership. This suggests a shift towards a more holistic approach to leadership development, emphasising personal qualities alongside professional experience.

The revelations from the 2023 Route to the Top report not only depict current trends but also hint at the future of corporate leadership. With the Middle East leading in prioritising C-suite experience for CEO roles, a global evolution in the prerequisites for top corporate positions appears imminent. This evolution signifies a new era where the journey to the CEO office encompasses not only climbing the corporate ladder but also cultivating a well-rounded, resilient, and adaptable leadership persona.