When the CEO of an injection molding company passed away unexpectedly, it devastated his family and led to significant upheaval in his business. This particular CEO had run his organization for more than two decades and was still heavily involved in day-to-day management. His children received financial benefits from the company but had no involvement in operations and were unprepared to take over. Further, the rest of the management team was in their 60s and 70s and contemplating retirement. With no succession plan in place, the company's leaders and the CEO's family had little choice but to sell the business.
While this was a satisfactory outcome in the end, advanced planning would have put the family and company leaders in a position to consider more options, which could have benefited them financially and also ensured the business maintained its strategic trajectory.
Unfortunately, this lack of preparedness is common in the plastics industry, and it can create long-term risks. Plastics manufacturing leaders need to plan proactively for the next phase of life to ensure longevity for their organizations and security for their families.