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Big Shoes to Fill

  How CEO transitions benefit from internal-external candidates by Brent Applegate Stroll down the halls of the San Diego headquarters of Gen-Probe, a developer of medical diagnostic tests, and you’ll find huge photo collages, handmade and framed, lining its walls. They chronicle the company’s history through scenes of company parties and events. Hairstyles and fashions change over time, but one constant through it all is the tall and distinguished long-time CEO, Hank Nordhoff. But in 2006 when Mr. Nordhoff began to discuss retiring, Gen-Probe’s board of directors faced the challenge of selecting his successor. Gen-Probe’s dilemma is becoming a fixture…