Guild Dethrone is a term created by Blizzard to describe the act of replacing an absent guild leader. A game mechanism was added in Patch 4.3 to notify guild members and officers automatically after 90 days (originally 30 days) that a guild is eligible for a "Guild Dethrone". Only guild members of rank 2 through 4 are eligible to become the new guild leader as of an April 17th, 2012 hotfix. Prior to that any guild member was eligible.
In Patch 4.3
New in 4.3: Inactive Guild Leader Replacement | 2011-09-30 12:07 |Lylirra
In the event that a guild leader takes a leave of absence and remains inactive for an extended period of time, it can be difficult for some guilds to carry on as normal. To help assist with these situations, we're introducing a new system in patch 4.3 known as "inactive guild leader replacement" that will allow players of the appropriate rank to take over leadership of a guild from an inactive guild leader via the Guild tab.
The way inactive guild leader replacement works is pretty straightforward. If a guild leader’s character is inactive for 30 days, a notification will appear in the Guild News & Events feed which can only be seen by guild members who are eligible to become the new guild leader. To determine eligibility, the game will look for the highest ranked character in the guild that's logged on in the past week, and any guild member from that rank will be able to request guild leadership simply by clicking on the notification.
As with many actions in World of Warcraft, clicking on the notification will open up a confirmation window which, once accepted, will transition leadership from the inactive guild leader to the first player to request leadership. If guild leadership is changed, the old guild leader will be notified via email to his or her registered Battle.net address. While some players may need to log out and back in before their Guild tab will visually update, the change in leadership will be immediate, with all ranks and permissions remaining in-tact.
Please note that if you're an active leader of a guild, this system should not affect you or your guild. The goal of inactive guild leader replacement is simply to allow guilds which have found themselves without leadership for a long period of time to resolve the situation on their own without the need to contact our In-Game Support department.
Inactive guild leader replacement is currently live on the PTR, but keep in mind that it may be difficult to test in a PTR setting, as a guild leader will need to be inactive for a full 30 days before the option to transition leadership will become available.