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The issue of succession in family owned agribusinesses may be a contentious matter, but it need not be if carefully considered well in advance of the need to seek a new leader. Nevertheless, succession is particularly disruptive since the founder-owner has been central to shaping and developing the company. At the early stages it is crucial that companies improve succession by strengthening the company’s leadership development and focus on those people, internal and external, who might one day take on the role of CEO. Potential new leaders must be good for the company’s existing customers, for the company itself and for the management team. A leadership development program which considers succession as a central element at all levels in the company can be a major part of the company’s value proposition, one that competitors cannot understand, let alone imitate.


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