The new year brought a surge in turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers, as 123 left their posts in January. That is the highest monthly total since May 2010 when 125 changes were recorded, according to the monthly report on CEO turnover released Wednesday by global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
The 123 January CEO departures was a 48 percent increase from the 83 exits recorded in December. Last month’s total was 28 percent higher than January 2011, when 96 chief executive departures were announced.
“2011 saw relatively mild CEO turnover as companies tried to determine how best to maneuver the economic climate. Companies were focused on cutting costs and doing more with less. Now, as jobs begin to trickle back and other factors signal economic growth, companies may try to find leaders who are able to drive expansion,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.