What If Someone Hires Your CEO?

That's what happened when Merrill Lynch lured CEO John Thain away from NYSE Euronext. A member of the board offers some lessons in emergency succession planning

Governance commentators had a field day criticizing the boards of Merrill Lynch (MER) and Citigroup (C) for their apparent lack of CEO succession planning following the departures of Stan O'Neal and Chuck Prince. But in this round of musical chairs at top financial organizations, there was one company left standing: NYSE Euronext (NYX). The board managed to respond almost immediately to the sudden loss of its CEO. In fact, when Merrill Lynch hired John Thain away from NYSE Euronext, the NYSE Euronext board issued a statement the very same day announcing Duncan Niederauer as its new CEO.

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