Publication Date



School of Business


Business Administration


succession planning, leadership, management, training, CEO, best practices, project management, succession, planning, mentoring, successful, executive succession, chief executive officers, CEO selection, CEO appointment, CEO succession, management


Business Administration, Management, and Operations


The purpose of this study was to compare the CEO succession of Walmart and Exxon Mobile with the commonly accepted best practices within the CEO’s distinguishable attributes and roles. The succession of executive leadership within any organization is inevitable. Research speaks to the importance of both strong executive leadership and CEO succession plans to allow for sustainable success within an organization. The researcher examined the literature on commonly accepted best practices of CEO succession as well as the importance of them. The executive successions of Walmart and Exxon Mobil were examined in light of the history of executive succession planning. In addition to the succession process used by Walmart and Exxon Mobil, the roles, collegiate background, attributes, and tenure of the chosen CEOs were examined. Based on the facts discovered, the researcher drew conclusions about the CEO successions of Walmart and Exxon Mobil and were examined for similarities in their CEO succession plans. The research analyzed the results and followed with a discussion of the implications of this research. The researcher concluded that Walmart and Exxon Mobil’s CEO succession plans have been in alignment with what the research stated as commonly accepted best practices.