Avery Bullard is a larger-than-life chief executive who’s built the Tredway Corp. into a world-class furniture company. At 56, he’s in his prime. But he has neglected to designate a successor as his second-in-command. Hours before a last-minute executive committee meeting, he’s felled by a cerebral hemorrhage.
A question now arises: Which of his lieutenants will try to fill Bullard’s massive shoes?
The answer is nearly all of them, and that’s the trouble. Today, succession planning is one of the many issues the novel coronavirus has made urgent at the highest levels of business. Someday, perhaps, there will be an app for that. Meanwhile there is a novel — an immensely readable and unjustly forgotten tale of corporate intrigue and human striving. It cries out to be revisited by every business leader.
Cameron Hawley’s Executive Suite, a bestseller when it was first published in 1952, is about what happens