09. February 2005 · Comments Off on Executive Headhunters In A Feeding Frenzy · Categories: General

The hottest topic today, for the business world’s chattering classes, is the resignation of HP‘s Carly Fiorina. Chief among the subtopics is the matter of, “who will replace her?” And the headhunters are working overtime:

According to a recent survey conducted by Executive Development Associates (EDA), a San Francisco-based executive development firm, General Electric (nyse: GE – news – people ) ranks as the best company for developing talent and is one of the more frequently poached companies for that reason.

IBM (nyse: IBM – news – people ) came in at number three in the survey. Indeed, many senior executives at IBM have left to pursue CEO careers elsewhere. In the past several years John Swainson left for Computer Associates (nyse: CA – news – people ), Mike Lawrie left for Siebel Systems (nasdaq: SEBL – news – people ), James Vanderslice left for the vice chairman job at Dell and John Thompson left for Symantec (nasdaq: SYMC – news – people ).

Other companies that rank high in executive development, where HP could look to fill its vacancy, include Dell (nasdaq: DELL – news – people ), which just lost vice president Robert Davis to the CFO job at CA, Johnson & Johnson (nyse: JNJ – news – people ), Weyerhaeuser (nyse: WY – news – people ), Procter and Gamble (nyse: PG – news – people ), PepsiCo (nyse: PEP – news – people ), UBS (nyse: UBS – news – people ) and Cisco Systems (nasdaq: CSCO – news – people ).

I find it interesting that I don’t see 3M mentioned. But it should be of interest to everyone that HP doesn’t seem to be considering a promotion from within at all. [incorrect, see comments] This is likely because they so missteped with Carly. She was quite the phenom earlier in her career, but became another example of the Peter Principle as CEO.

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