October CEO Departures Most Since January

Chicago — Nov. 7

The resignation of Citigroup’s CEO Vikram Pandit was one of 108 departures in October, the most since 123 were recorded in January, according to a report 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.

The government/nonprofit sector experienced the heaviest CEO turnover activity last month, with 19 announced departures.

The financial sector had the second most departures in October with 17, including Pandit’s resignation from Citigroup. Through October, financial institutions have seen 100 CEO changes.

The health care sector, usually recording the highest number of departures each month, had 12 changes in October. For the year, health care has seen the most CEO departures, 194.

Resignation is the most-often cited reason for CEO departures, with 300 this year, including 37 in October. Companies also cited retirement 22 times in October as chief executives’ reasons for leaving.

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.