Should CEO candidates have to pass a physical?

There has been quite a bit of discussion in regards of CEO’s and their overall health, especially due to the fact that there have been a host of people who have been named CEO’s of various companies, who have fallen ill, or have had big time health problems right out of the gate. One major CEO ended up having to have a heart transplant after just a month into his position, which has raised a lot of eyebrows and has led to the discussion of whether or not certain CEO’s should have to undergo a process of proving that they are healthy and qualified to take the position that they are being offered.
A physical exam is something that may be required in the future, but this is something that really has not been of much concern in the past. Most boards that are looking to hire a CEO will go ahead and hire the candidate that they are most interested in, regardless of whether or not they have passed a physical exam or not. However, there is no question that if a CEO ends up getting sick or can’t work for any reason, the company can literally be compromised for a while. This could end up having a detrimental effect on the company, which could in turn affect the lives of each and every person that is working at the company. CEO recruiters like Dennis Carey ( of Korn/Ferry have weighed in on the subject, bringing up the fact that companies sometimes invest heavily into finding a CEO.


The interesting thing about this situation and this type of discussion is the fact that most CEO’s are older, as they have had to build the skills that are necessary to hold this type of position, likely over the course of the majority of a career. This means that this type of discussion may be necessary for companies across a broad spectrum, so there is a lot of validity when it comes to questioning whether or not there should be a process of evaluating potential CEO’s health and also making them go through a physical exam before they are hired. It does not look like this is something that is going to take off in the short term, but only time will tell if CEO’s will be required to pass a physical exam in the future. Chances are, if there are CEO’s that start to drop like flies, this might become more important, but for right now, a physical exam is not something that looks to be required for the hire of most CEO’s.