As they groom their star executives, more U.S. businesses are working hard to find them outside board seats.

Chiefs of companies such as International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. , Sempra Energy and Exelon Corp. say they have been actively trying to obtain directorships for several top officers. With insiders now landing a record number of CEO spots, corporate directorships give senior executives a strong feel for how other businesses operate.  As board members, they will be “exposed to a different set of issues,” predicts Andreas Fibig, IFF’s chief executive.

Consider General Mills Inc. Jeffrey Harmening and Christopher O’Leary, senior leaders of the major food maker, are vying to someday succeed Ken Powell, its 61-year-old chief executive, according to people familiar with the company.  That is partly why directors and others recently began helping Mr. Harmening pursue his first public-company directorship.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal

Original piece by Joann S. Lublin