Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers plummeted to an eight-month low in March as 86 CEOs announced their departures during the month. That represents a 21 percent decline from 110 CEO exits in February, according to the latest report on CEO turnover released Wednesday by global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
The March total is 8.5 percent lower than the same month a year ago, when 94 CEO changes were recorded. It was the lowest monthly total since 83 CEO changes were announced in July 2012.
Through the first three months of 2013, 309 CEO departures have been announced, which is 4.1 percent fewer than the 321 tracked in the first quarter of 2012. The quarterly total is 4.3 percent lower than the 323 CEO changes in the final quarter of last year.
The healthcare sector has seen the heaviest CEO turnover so far this year, with 59 CEO changes announced through March. The number of changes in the sector is down slightly from a year ago, when 63 first-quarter departures were announced by hospitals and other health care providers. Health care has consistently seen the heaviest turnover over the last several years. Last year, turnover in the sector increased 23 percent after falling to a six-year low in 2011.