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NBC follows 3-Step Succession Plan In Replacing Jay Leno

As Jimmy Fallon assumes the mantle from Jay Leno as the 6th host in the 60-year history of “The Tonight Show”, we are reminded of how difficult key talent successions really are. Especially for successful top-level executives who have made their impacts on upper echelon organizations, the process of executive recruitment remains an arduous one. Case in point, Microsoft’s 5-month executive recruiting effort to replace CEO Steve Ballmer.

Jimmy Fallon at The Tonight Show

However, NBC made all the right moves including:

  1. Choosing a youthful, 39 year-old who brings a lot of both enthusiasm and new ideas to late night talk. Among them, engaging guests in games, such as Egg Russian Roulette and Water War, to encourage improvisation and more frank answers.
  2. Hiring the very successful Josh Lieb formerly of “The Daily Show” as its producer.
  3. Changing the format back to more of a variety show consistent with the original host, Steve Allen.
  4. Moving The Tonight Show to its former home in New York City, which provides a different and unique vibe for the show.
  5. A months long publicity blitz to promote Mr. Fallon so current viewers of the Tonight Show will be more familiar with him when he takes over.

Microsoft too made all the right moves when it chose insider Satya Nadella. In fact, both Microsoft and NBC seemed to follow my 3-step playbook, outlined in my past article, at for replacing a top-level performer. These steps include:

  1. Having your internal management recruiters recruit the best talent possible.
  2. Grooming and quickly advancing star performers.
  3. Mentoring your star performers.


Following all three steps in your executive recruitment practice does not mean that your executive recruiting process will be a success. However, not persuading your internal management recruiters or external executive search recruiters to do so will increase the probably of executive recruitment failure!

Time will tell if either NBC or Microsoft or both are correct in their selections, but I train all my R&D recruiters, engineering recruiters, scientific recruiters, IT recruiters and technical recruiters on this 3-step approach to succession planning. Furthermore, I encourage all my executive recruiters to share this information with our top clients. The caveat is all executive recruitment agencies are only as good as their last advice. That is why we stress this 3-step process. It is time tested having worked repeatedly for our executive recruitment clients.

What are your thoughts?

Intel Workers Need To Ready Quantitative Resumes!

Due to lower than expected fourth-quarter profit, Intel, a household name in semiconductor R&D and manufacturing, is planning to lay off 5,400 workers or almost 5% of their 107,600 total, worldwide employees! One culprit was Intel’s server chips area, which grew less than expected.

Intel plans to lay off nearly 5,400 workers in 2014

This is in direct contrast to the last 7 years where their employment has increased steadily. In fact, since 2006 when then CEO Paul Otellini engineered a restructuring, Intel’s recruiting has soared. Therefore, many engineering recruiters, scientific recruiters, IT recruiters and technical recruiters had made a fortune from just focusing on technical recruitment for Intel!

However, Intel’s priorities have changed since last May when Brian Krzanich took over as CEO. For example, Mr. Krazanich has increased Intel’s efforts to develop semiconductor chips for wearable devices, smartphones, smartwatches and tablets. As a result, he has planned to not only reduce employment, but also shift employees to different jobs within Intel. This has meant that many executive recruiters will have to look elsewhere for revenues. It also brings up the question, “What should the over 5000 displaced Intel workers do next?”

One thing they need to do immediately is develop a quantitative resume. As part of this process, our engineering recruiting agency recommends including a lot of “numbers.” Numbers include quantitative accomplishments, dollar savings, percentage improvements and patents. Unfortunately, most employees create qualitative resumes (e.g. I was part of the team that implemented the new semiconductor manufacturing robots) instead of quantitative ones (e.g. I designed the new A47B Fanuc robot, which saved Intel $45,600 per day in direct labor costs and reduced manufacturing errors by 27%). Please go to and view for more details.

Changing the pattern from a qualitative to a quantitative resume is not easy. It takes a lot of work and discipline. However, internal management recruiters at hiring companies and external executive recruitment firms salivate when they see “numbers.” Also, many job boards and engineer recruitment aids are designed to pick up keywords with a quantitative focus. Therefore, it behooves not only the displaced Intel workers, but also anyone looking for a new job to put in the extra time to make your resume quantitative!

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