White Paper: An Executive Exit – A Closer Look at the Factors That Drive Successful Executive Transitions

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. 50% of executive leaders in this industry are transitioning out in the next 10 years. And executives in many SMACNA member firms are part of this universe.

With so much transition expected, the Foundation commissioned FMI to address this issue. There is significant research on laying the organizational groundwork for transition and identifying and preparing a successor. However, there is no formal set of guidelines for a successor transitioning into the CEO role.

FMI interviewed 21 successfully exited CEOs in the industry and reported on the results. This white paper explores the five key themes they identified as the main guidelines for a successful transition:

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