Tech CEOs are in it for the long haul, according to ECI’s research

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1 in 5 technology CEOs plan to lead their business until at least 2030, a longer planned tenure than CEOs in any other sector, according to our latest Growth Characteristics research.

Further demonstrating that tech CEOs are more likely to be in it for the long haul, our research also found that the average amount of time tech CEOs plan to stay in their role is 7.3 years, nearly two years longer than the overall average of 5.7. 

We surveyed over 500 fast-growth SME business leaders as part of our Growth Characteristics report to understand what makes a successful CEO, and to discover their current challenges and growth plans.

Tom Wrenn, Managing Partner at ECI Partners, comments on the findings:

“Businesses have contended with a wide range of new challenges in the last two years and strong leadership has been crucial to help businesses both survive and thrive. This is especially the case for tech CEOs, who have been at the forefront of the shift to remote working and digital transformation driven by the pandemic. With a high degree of continued growth potential within the sector, there is little surprise that tech CEOs plan to stay in position longer and make the most of these opportunities.”

Exit plans

When thinking about the future of their business, nearly two fifths (38%) of business leaders in the technology sector want to pass their business onto their leadership team to manage once they leave.

However, over half (54%) do not currently have a succession plan in place. This suggests that whilst tech CEOs know what they want their succession plan to be, they need to take action to formalise it.  

Furthermore, when thinking about the future challenges their business faces, 31% cite implementing the post-Covid future of work as the biggest challenge ahead. Nevertheless, leaders are optimistic about the future, with 69% of tech CEOs saying their optimism is higher than this time last year.

Tom Wrenn adds:

“For businesses to continue to thrive in the long term, it’s essential that time is taken to fully consider a succession plan following the departure of their CEO and ensure that the new leadership team are all working to achieve the same goal. Without this cohesion, a business someone has spent years nurturing can quickly hinder its own growth potential.”

About the author

Tom Wrenn

"I’m one of the four Managing Partners at ECI who make up our Investment Committee and run the firm. I’ve spent most of my career working with tech and tech enabled businesses helping them to achieve their global growth ambitions whether organically or via M&A."

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