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  • Frank Tian

🚰 Water-cooler Chat: The Path to the Top Job

Lately, the CEO succession at Scotiabank grabbed the media attention.


The result was controversial as the one-time interviewer eventually took the job.


For details, you can read the Globe and Mail’s report (a subscription may be required)


Another question is whether the new CEO should be someone from within.


Well, there are good and bad for both internal and external candidates.


Here is how long each current CEO of major banks stayed WITHIN the organization BEFORE taking the top job.


🇨🇦 Canada - average 24 years.


Scotiabank - 32 years

RBC - 31 years

TD - 27 years

BMO - 23 years

CIBC - 9 years


🇺🇸 US - average 10 years (including the time at the acquired bank, in the cases of M&A).


Bank of America - 17 years

Citi - 17 years

JPMorgan Chase - 6 years

Wells Fargo - 0 years


Wells Fargo had a special case as it needed an outsider in 2019 to stay clear of previous issues.


Compared with the job of the UK Prime Minister, the job of a North American bank CEO seems to take forever - usually it lasts a decade or more, as the CEO needs to lead the bank through at least one long business cycle.


Among current CEOs, the one having the longest tenure is Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase, who has held the job for 16 years since 2006.



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