CEO Turnover Falls in October

November 15, 2009 – October saw 89 chief executive officers leave their posts, 15 percent fewer than September’s 105 and 29 percent lower than the 125 CEO departures recorded in October 2008, according to the latest job-cut report by outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. October marked the eighth time this year that CEO turnover was lower than the same month a year ago. So far this year, 1,028 CEO changes have been announced, 18 percent fewer than the 1,257 departures tracked by this point a year ago. This year’s 10-month total is the lowest since 2004, when CEO changes numbered 561 through the end of October. The financial industry experienced the heaviest CEO turnover last month with 19 top executives leaving their posts. While job cuts in this sector have declined steadily since the beginning of the year, volatility continues at the top of the corporate ladder. Financial firms have had 106 CEO departures this year, or about one in every 10 exits. “The financial industry is still incredibly volatile, as both October and September saw major announcements from leading companies including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and last month’s bankruptcy of CIT Group, which led to the exit of CEO Jeffrey Peek,” said John A. Challenger, CEO. “Moreover, the investigation into executive pay packages for institutions that received federal bailouts may also push companies into management changes. There may be many more CEO departures to come in the financial sector.” The financial services sector, however, is not the sector with the most turnover. That distinction goes to the healthcare sector, which added another eight CEO departures in October to bring the year-to-date total to 159. That is 22 percent more than the 130 CEO changes announced by the second-ranked government and non-profit sector.

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