Succession Planning and Executive Exit: Factors for successful transitions for contractors, construction and engineering companies.

An Executive Exit: Succession Strategies


Arieana Thompson
Tim Tokarczyk
Emily Livorsi
FMI Corporation



The engineering and construction industry is facing an extraordinary number of executive departures as 50% of executive leaders in this industry are transitioning out in the next 10 years – making succession planning an imperative for these construction and engineering companies. And executives in many SMACNA member firms are part of this universe.

As executive leaders look toward the next stage of their lives, they have a handful of options to transition the business including transitioning it to the next generation of employees. However this is easier said than done.

Executive Transition and Succession Planning for Construction and Engineering Companies

Construction and engineering company executives drive the vision, strategy and operations, and a transition from one CEO to the next must be seamless to ensure continuity. For these reasons, a proper succession plan needs to be in place to prevent companywide chaos in these construction and engineering companies.

Given the critical nature of successful executive transitions and successions, there is surprisingly little pre-existing data on the topic. 

Extensive research on succession planning highlights initial stages of laying the groundwork for transition, identifying and preparing a successor. But there has not been a formalized set of guidelines for a successor transitioning into the CEO role. 

With so much transition expected, the New Horizons Foundation commissioned FMI to address this issue.

“Succession planning can hardly start early enough. You just never know about life. If you get hit by a bus tomorrow, what’s the plan to have your role filled in the company?”

– CEO, Construction Management Firm

Successful Succession Planning Insight

FMI interviewed 21 successfully exited CEOs in the industry and reported on the results and best practices from their succession planning. 

This white paper explores the five key themes they identified as the main guidelines for a successful executive transition:

  • Build a Strong Succession Foundation
  • Engage in Transition Planning
  • Cultivate the Ideal Predecessor Mindset
  • Make the Transition
  • Help Predecessors Look Forward

Download the white paper today to learn more about construction company succession planning and keys to a successful transition.