104 July CEO Changes, Up From July 2010

After reaching a 13-month high in June, turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers declined in July, with 104 CEOs announcing their departures.  It was the fourth consecutive month in which CEO changes totaled more than 100, according to the latest report on CEO turnover released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

July CEO departures were down 7.9 percent from June’s 113, the largest number of CEO exits since May 2010 (125).  Last month’s total was 18 percent higher than July 2010, when 88 CEO changes were recorded.

Challenger has now tracked 710 CEO changes in 2011, down 6.7 percent from the 761 CEOs who left their posts in the same period last year.

“After relatively low turnover in the first quarter, we have seen an increase inCEOdepartures in the summer months, as companies approach their fiscal year-end or report on second quarter earnings,” said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“However, the pace of CEO turnover is still virtually unchanged from a year ago.  So, it is unlikely that the recent jump in activity indicates a broader trend of increased CEO volatility.   That may occur down the road, but, at the moment, many companies are trying to maintain stability while there is still so much uncertainty about the strength of the recovery,” he added.

Healthcare saw the heaviest activity last month with 20 CEO changes, followed by the government/non-profit sector with 18.  These two sectors also lead all others in year-to-date CEO departures, with health care organizations announcing 109 changes and non-profits announcing 88.  In both sectors, the seven-month totals are lower than a year ago.

Get the full report here.

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