January Marks 10th Straight Month Of 100 Or More U.S. CEO Exits

Heavy turnover among chief executive officers continued in the new year, as 114 CEO changes were announced in January, the 10th consecutive month that over 100 CEO departures were recorded, according to the monthly CEO Turnover Report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. 

This January was 18% lower than the 139 CEOs departures announced same month a year ago, but the 114 departures in a month are still considered heavy turnover, with more than 5 departures announced per business day.

ANNUAL CEO DEPARTURES

1999*

269

2000

1,106

2001

929

2002

749

2003

695

2004

663

2005

1,322

2006

1,478

TOTAL

7,211

*Departure survey began in Aug'99
Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The financial and computer sectors led all other industries in terms of CEO turnover with 15 and 14 changes, respectively, followed by the pharmaceutical industry, which saw 10 CEO changes. The retail sector also had 10 changes.

. 25 CEOs resigned from their positions, including Home Depot’s Robert Nardelli . 

. 24 stepped down, which typically indicates that they are leaving the CEO job but staying with the company as a member of the board or as a consultant. 

. 8 CEOs were fired, including Paul Pressler, CEO of Gap Inc., while one CEO left or was asked to leave due to options backdating. 

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