Over 100 CEOs Out In October; Health, Gov’t, Financial Lead

Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers declined slightly in October as 104 planned CEO departures were reported, down 2.8 percent from the 107 in September, according to a report released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The October total was down 3.7 percent from the same month a year ago when 108 were recorded.  Challenger has now tracked 1,053 CEO changes so far this year, 5.3 percent more than the 999 departures announced in the first ten months of 2012.

Due to continued changes in the health care landscape, this sector led all industries in October with 29 CEO departures, 25 of which came from hospitals and hospital systems.  Of those CEOs, nine went on to serve as high-level executives of other hospitals, usually as CEO.  To date, the health care sector has now seen 224 CEO departures in 2013, which is the highest turnover among all sectors tracked by Challenger.  Continue reading


CEO Changes Surpass 2011 Pace, 112 in November

The end of the year appears to be bringing increased volatility in the executive suite.  Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers increased for the second consecutive month in November, as the number of announced departures reached a 10-month high of 112 during the month, according to the latest report released Wednesday by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The November was up 3.7 percent from the 108 CEO exits reported in October.  Last month’s total was 37 percent higher than November 2011, when chief executive departures totaled 82, which were the fewest monthly changes recorded in 2011.

With the November increase, year-to-date departures surpassed the 2011 pace for the first time this year, though not by much.  Through eleven months, Challenger has tracked 1,111 CEO departures, which is 1.5 percent more than the 1,095 CEO changes announced from January through November last year. Continue reading

October CEO Turnover Jumps to 108

The abrupt resignation announced by Citigroup’s CEO Vikram Pandit was one of 108 departures tracked by Challenger last month. October saw the most CEO departures since 123 were recorded in January of this year, according to the report released Wednesday by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

October CEO turnover was up 13.7 percent from the 95 CEO changes recorded in September.  Last month’s total was 18.7 percent higher than the corresponding month a year ago, when 91 CEO changes were recorded.

Overall, the pace of CEO departures is down slightly from 2011.  So far this year, 999 CEO departures have been announced, 1.3 percent fewer than the 1,013 CEO changes tracked by this point last year.  Continue reading

Survey: Employers Focus On Engagement In Post-Recession Workplace

Even as employers appear reluctant to ramp up hiring, a new survey shows that the majority are committed to retaining the workers they have and are focused increasingly on employee engagement as the most effective means of achieving that goal.

In the survey of human resources professionals, 80 percent said their companies were focused on employee engagement and 67 percent said the focus on engagement is greater now than it was before the recession.  The survey was conducted by global outplacement and executive coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. among attendees at the annual conference and exposition of the Society for Human Resources Management held recently in Atlanta.

“As the job market continues to improve, albeit slowly, more and more workers are starting to seek new opportunities.  In recognition of this, employers are stepping up their efforts to hold on to the talent that was critical in helping the company survive the downturn,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Read the full report here.

June CEO Turnover Hits 99, Matches Last Year’s Pace

The number of chief executive officer departures reached 99 in June, unchanged from May’s total and falling 12 percent from the 113 CEO changes recorded in June of 2011, according to the latest report on CEO turnover released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

June marked the end of a slightly less active quarter for CEO turnover.  For the three-month period ending June 30, a total of 288 CEO departures were announced, a 10 percent decrease from the 321 departures announced in the first quarter.  The second quarter total was down 9.7 percent from the same period a year ago when 319 CEO changes were announced.

Challenger has now tracked 609 CEO changes so far this year, which virtually equal to the 606 departures recorded in the first six months of 2011.

For the year, health care continues to see the heaviest turnover.  It leads all other sectors with 127 in 2012, including an industry-leading 28 in June.  The year-to-date total is a whopping 42.6 percent higher than the 89 health care CEO changes recorded in the first half of 2011.

Computer companies announced 10 CEO changes last month, bringing the 6-month total to 61. The computer sector is the third highest industry in turnover so far this year, preceded by the government/non-profit sector which has seen 83 CEO departures this year. Firms in the financial sector have seen 48 CEO changes in the first half of the year, with 6 in June.

Read the full report here.

2011 Year-End CEO Turnover Report

Download the report here.(PDF)

The end of 2011 saw continued slowdown in CEO turnover as 83 chief executives left their posts in December. For the year, 1,178 CEOs left their posts, down from 1,234 announced departures in 2010, according to the year-end report on CEO turnover from global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The 83 December CEO departures was one more than the 82 exits tracked in November.  Last month’s total was 22 percent lower than December 2010, when 107 chief executive departures were recorded.

Over the final three months of 2011, 256 CEO changes were announced.  That is a 19 percent decline from the previous quarter and marks the lowest quarterly total of year.  In fact, it represents the lowest quarterly total since the fourth quarter of 2004, when CEO departures reached just 147.

The healthcare sector saw the highest CEO turnover in 2011 with 187 changes, down from 201 in 2010. The government sector, which according to Challenger tracking saw the most job cuts this year with 183,064, had the second highest turnover in 2011 with 152 changes, virtually unchanged from 2010’s 159.

The financial industry ranked third in CEO turnover with 123, 5 in December. This figure is down slightly from 124 changes in 2010.

“The uncertainty surrounding the financial sector has certainly translated to leadership changes over the last couple of years. In addition to a weaker economy, the government enforced oversight into how bailout funds are handled, many federal credit unions or small local banks needed to bring in new leaders to comply with the regulations,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The tech sector, which saw many notable CEO changes this year including Carol Bartz of Yahoo!, Eric Schmidt of Google and Steve Jobs of Apple, ranked fourth in CEO changes with 116, seven of whom left in December. The 2011 year-end total for the computer industry was up 27.4 percent over the same period in 2010 when 91 tech industry CEOs left their posts.

General McChrystal’s Fate Won’t Be Decided By Comments – Challenger

Commentary on Gen. McChrystal’s situation from workplace authority CEO John Challenger:

“In the corporate world, public comments by a senior executive that are critical of the CEO or other top executives would most likely result in that person’s removal. This type of second-guessing and backbiting is not uncommon in the corporate world, but once the behind-closed-doors infighting becomes public, someone usually pays the price,” said workplace expert John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“Of course, the biggest difference between the General McChrystal situation and anything in the corporate world is that he is in charge of a war. The other difference is that President Obama has embraced a team-of-rivals strategy throughout his presidency. He wants the best-of-the-best, even if they disagree. He would undoubtedly prefer that these disagreements not be aired in such a petty way on the national stage, but that is the risk a leader takes when he decides not to surround himself with ‘yes men.’

“The fact that Obama has not fired General McChrystal already is evidence of the measured approach he takes to problem solving. His calling for a face-to-face meeting demonstrates the graveness of the situation, but Obama does not seem like one who would make a decision about the leadership of a war because he may feel personally slighted,” Challenger continued.

“If General McChyrstal is removed from his position today by President Obama, it will not be because of his comments. If he believes that General McChyrstal is still the best person to manage the war in Afghanistan, then his job will be safe, regardless of any flip comments made in public.”