Succession Announcements via Social Media

Succession planning is a key part of any organization. Who will take over? Who will take charge until a new CEO is named? Who will we select? A lot goes into selecting a new leader. There are many stakeholders who will be impacted – employees, stock holders, customers and clients, and the media. Companies have to be extremely careful when deciding how and when to announce these types of major changes.

Where Social Media Comes In

23% of social media users check their accounts five times or more every day (Huffington Post). With staggering statistics like these, one can see why a company should strongly consider announcing successions via social media. Although press releases and posts on a company’s website are also useful tools, social media is the fastest and easiest way to spread information.

The Livestrong Example 

On Wednesday, October 17, 2012, Livestrong announced that Lance Armstrong, the man who has stood behind Livestrong since its beginnings, was stepping down as the chairman of the company. After battling rumors of using steroids during his Tour de France races for years, he finally admitted that the rumors were in face true. As a result, he stepped down in an effort to protect the integrity of the Livestrong brand.

Here is the original tweet posted by Livestrong:

Image

The Livestrong blog also issued an official statement. By using Twitter and linking the tweet to an official blog post, Livestrong offered both a quick update on the chairman’s status as well as an in-depth description of the situation.

Conclusions 

  • Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites are the quickest and easiest way to spread information regarding a succession
  • Social media can be used to lead people to more comprehensive information
  • Social media must be embraced when a company announces a succession, not ignored 
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