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The seven year itch: scratch the general counsel

Corporate Counsel (Aug. 19, 2005) mentioned that in the past year, 36 of the Fortune 250 general counsel “ceded” their post. That works out to 14 percent of them departing, which extrapolates to an average general-counsel tenure of seven years.

The average tenure of a U.S. CEO may fairly closely match that of general counsel. (Chart 10-16 of my benchmark book gives some GC tenure data.) To the degree that is true, it reinforces my suspicion that the changing of the CEO guard ushers in a nerve-wracking period for a general counsel.

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