Executive Watch

Succession Planning

Last week, Blackstone announced that real estate executive Jonathan Gray solidified his role as heir apparent to CEO Stephen Schwarzman. Gray, who runs the firmís $115-billion real estate business, will become president and chief operating officer thanks to Tony James, who is handing over day-to-day management of the business. Blackstone deserves a round of applause for thoughtfully planning and executing on a succession plan for Schwarzman. The transition from one CEO to another is critical to the companyís history. A well-orchestrated transition is essential to maintain the confidence of investors, business partners, customer and employees. A carefully designed and executed succession plan sets the stage for the new CEO to comfortably take the reins. Failure to plan for succession sets the stage for disruption of the business and a whole host of issues that could have been avoided through careful planning. Alas, I find that the vast majority of companies across every sector only pay lip service to succession planning, which I guess is okay because it keeps executive search consultants busy.

By Anthony LoPinto | Executive Watch
Anthony LoPinto
Global Sector Head, Real Estate
Korn/Ferry International
Executive Bio

For more than a decade, Anthony LoPinto has been serving his clients with deep knowledge and perspective on talent needs and organizational challenges to public and private companies - knowledge gained from a 25-year career in real estate. Prior to his current position, he founded and served as chief executive officer of a boutique real estate executive search firm, where he oversaw offices in New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He has successfully led several high profile search engagements for chief executive officers, directors and a wide-range of executive level positions across all industries and sectors.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in European history from Loyola University in Chicago.

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