The board is responsible for appointing the chief executive and monitoring his/her performance against agreed targets and indicators.
The qualities and skills the board will look for in a CEO will vary in each situation, depending on the strategic direction. Some people are better at starting new companies. Some are better at extracting the best out of opportunities. Others are better at fixing organisations or leading downsizing.
The board might choose to use an independent recruitment consultant or drive the process themselves. The key to success is defining the attributes for the position, considering a range of candidates, careful reference checking of the preferred candidates and then providing a clear job description and performance management framework, with an employment agreement clearly setting out terms and conditions.
The board must give clear direction to management, and help create and support a climate where people within the organisation and outside can understand and support the direction.