September 23, 2009 – It has been a volatile year for CEO turnover and the most recent month has seen 101 CEO changes, marking a 20 percent decline from a nine-month high of 126 in July. The August total is the second lowest of the year, according to the latest report on CEO turnover released by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.. The 101 CEO changes announced in August were 30 percent lower than the 144 announced in the same month a year ago and the sixth time this year that monthly CEO turnover decreased from the same period in 2008. For the year, CEO departures totaled 834, down 16 percent from 2008, when 992 CEO changes were announced between January and August. “While we are still seeing more than 100 CEO exits per month, the pace of turnover has slowed significantly from last year’s record pace. This downward trend is likely to continue for the remainder of the year, as companies try to maintain their footing and stabilize operations after a stormy economic climate,” said John Challenger, CEO. “However, it is possible that turnover among CEOs will increase in 2010, as some companies respond to the recovery by installing more growth-oriented leadership.” Energy led all industries last month with 15 followed by 14 in the computer industry and 13 in health care. For the year, healthcare CEOs lead all sectors in turnover with 134, followed by the government/non-profit sector with 100.
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