Two high-profile founders and CEOs picked earlier this year to make major announcements. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced he would leave his post, and Merck’s chairman and chief executive officer Kenneth Frazier announced he would retire as well. On July 5, Bezos formally stepped down as Amazon CEO where he is focusing on new products and initiatives for the company. Frazier officially stepped down in late May.

“Succession planning is about knowing when the time is right to let someone else manage your business,” says James Jack, Head of the UBS Business Owner Client Segment.

Developing a CEO exit strategy, including choosing and preparing a successor, could take many years. A lack of planning can be costly for the business as well as the owner, who may be forced to sell in a hurry at a low price. A lack of planning also may increase the likelihood of costly disputes among family members-explaining why 70% of family-owned businesses do not survive even one generation after the founder moves on.

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