CEO Succession Case Study:
Bend The Arc
As the long-tenured executive vice president at Bend the Arc, Stosh Cotler was told by the board that it wished to consider her for the role of CEO, a position that had recently opened up. The only problem was that Cotler didn’t see herself as CEO material.Read the Case Study Now Listen to the Case Study Now
“Women go through a job description and if we don’t feel like we can do everything that is listed, we don’t apply. I know this is a danger, but I still did the same thing at first; I couldn’t help it.”
Stosh Cotler,Bend the Arc CEO
The Board’s belief in Stosh Cotler (and her belief in herself) has been validated by her successful tenure at Bend the Arc.
Steve Rohde, who chaired the board at the time of Cotler’s appointment, says the process inspired him in other situations to think about the value of a promotion from within an organization
In January 2014, Bend the Arc announced Stosh Cotler’s selection as its next leader—making her one of the first female CEOs of a large national Jewish organization. A well-respected insider, Cotler was initially hesitant to apply for the CEO job for fear of leading the organization she loved to failure. Her journey from a hesitant number two to a powerhouse CEO holds lessons for any organization wishing to ensure it finds the best candidate to fill the corner office.
“We spoke about how her fixation on her weaknesses was something that women tend to internalize and that it holds women back.”
Rabbi Felicia Sol, Former Bend the Arc Board Member
Leading Edge partnered with a Senior Editor from Harvard Business Review to distill the most important elements of running a successful nonprofit CEO search.Read more
The Bridgespan Group has curated articles that can help your organization successfully survive—and even thrive —during a leadership transition.Read more
BoardSource offers resources to help your board establish a leadership succession plan, understand the phases of an executive transition, and lead the organization to its next stage of leadership.Read more