In my specific case, I need a single word to call an employee who is being replaced by another due to his/her retirement, death, resignation etc.

Anything like “Replacee” may be suitable.

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    Why does it need to be a single word? Give the person the dignity of saying "the person who retired/died/resigned/was fired."
    – Hot Licks
    May 12, 2015 at 12:28
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    @hot-licks In fact I have a group of columns containing information of superseding employees and i need to label this group of columns. Currently i am using "Outgoing Employees" , I thought it would be better if I could find a single word.
    – Shahab
    May 13, 2015 at 4:52
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    @Shahab: Replacement. dictionary.reference.com/browse/replacement Jul 18, 2015 at 21:52
  • A pod person. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – Greg Lee
    Jul 19, 2015 at 4:56

5 Answers 5


One word is Incumbent


  1. holding an indicated position, role, office, etc., currently:

the incumbent officers of the club.



  1. the holder of an office:

The incumbent was challenged by a fusion candidate.

Source: Dictionary.com

This word implies that the person being referred to is the current holder of the office or position, but might not hold it in the future.



A predecessor is exactly what you describe. A person whom was replaced by another.

Barack Obama's predecessor is George Bush Jr.

This word isn't exactly thrown around in everyday speech either. It's usually reserved for higher up positions (like my presidential example). That doesn't mean it couldn't be used for other jobs though.

Jim Jones is the predecessor to the fry cook at Wendy's

meaning Jim Jones was the fry cook and has since been replaced.

The person who replaced Jim Jones is called the successor, more particularly Jim Jones' successor.

  • A is replaced by B. So A says: "I had to train my replacement." But B says: "My ______ had to train me." Yes, I think "predecessor" will work here.
    – GEdgar
    Sep 23, 2017 at 12:14

The person that holds the position is the incumbent not a predecessor (predecessor implies the person before the one being replaced) the person that holds position or is being replaced is superseded by a successor if permanent or a (Temp) if not permanent position.

  • Hello, Old sch edu. 'Incumbent' might fit, but is certainly broader than 'an employee who is [shortly] being replaced by another due to his/her retirement, death, resignation etc.' The incumbent at any particular moment may never be replaced: the post may be discontinued. Sep 23, 2017 at 9:39

You can use substitute. In your example the new employee is a substitute for one who resigned the job.

The Vocabulary.com describes the substitute as :

Something or someone that takes the place of another is said to be a substitute. You may be sent into a game as a substitute for an injured player.

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    You came up with an opposite(kind of) of what I wanted, I need title for the injured player in your example, which is being substituted.
    – Shahab
    May 12, 2015 at 8:15
  • He may be called shadow resource May 12, 2015 at 8:21
  • This is the term I was looking fo: Say candidate1 is absent, candidate2 replaces candidate1. So candidate2 is a substitute for candidate1. Thanks. Jun 28, 2020 at 3:38

Describing an employee being replaced because he/she died is a bit of a touchy subject, but I can think of one word that can cover everything:

From Merriam-Webster:

supersede (verb)
to take the place of : to replace

This seems adequate in the case of a deceased employee and would work fine for the other cases.
The deceased employee was superseded by a newcomer.

  • I would use "superseder" in this case I think. But not sure whom "superseder" would point to, employee being replaced or a newcomer?
    – Shahab
    May 12, 2015 at 8:23
  • @Shahab I recommend avoiding superseder. It's usage is tricky and it sounds odd. Here are two good options: (1) The deceased employee was superseded by a newcomer. (2) The newcomer superseded the deceased employee. The first sentence is passive which makes it less ideal. But to answer your question, superseder would point to the newcomer.
    – Adam
    May 12, 2015 at 8:42
  • I don't need to build a sentence. I need a label for superseding employees and single word would be better I think.
    – Shahab
    May 13, 2015 at 4:54
  • @Shahab How about outbound or withdrawing?
    – Adam
    May 13, 2015 at 13:16
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    @Shahab Here are a bunch of great words I finally thought of: predecessor, precursor, and forerunner. These all fit very well.
    – Adam
    May 15, 2015 at 4:38

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