The Last Step Up Is a Big One

A new study points out how hard it can be for presidents and chief operating officers to become the CEO

If you are an "heir apparent" to the chief executive officer of a major corporation, you might think that your path to the top would be relatively smooth -- particularly if the company is doing well. But a study in the current Academy of Management Journal suggests that aspiring top dogs often face a major hurdle in the form of a powerful incumbent CEO -- unless that power is offset by the power of outside directors.

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