Report: CEO Departures Ticked Up in December

Chicago — Jan. 15

Departures among the nation’s chief executive officers ticked up in December, as 99 CEOs left their posts during the month. That is 5.3 percent more than the 94 CEO departures recorded in November, according to a report by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

The December total was down 4 percent from the same month a year ago, when 103 CEO exits were announced. Over the final three months of 2013, 297 CEO changes were announced, 14.6 percent fewer than the 348 changes in the third quarter. The fourth-quarter total was down 8 percent from the comparable period in 2012, according to the report, when 323 CEOs left their posts.

Overall, Challenger tracked 1,246 CEO changes in 2013, 2.6 percent more than the 1,214 departures announced through all of 2012.

Health care led all industries in CEO turnover in 2013 with 265, 70 of which occurred in the last quarter. Of those, 52 were from hospitals and health clinics. The government and nonprofit sector followed with 178 CEO departures for the year, including 45 last quarter. The annual total for this sector was virtually unchanged from last year’s total of 179, according to the report.

Third-ranked financial services saw 143 CEOs leave their posts last year, 16 percent more than the 123 CEO changes recorded in 2012. Computer firms announced 121 CEO changes in 2013, a 4.7 percent decrease from 2012. Meanwhile, CEOs in the entertainment and leisure industry, those in hospitality, dining and entertainment came in fifth with 48 recorded CEO changes, down slightly from 50 recorded in 2012.

According to Challenger data, 159 female CEOs left their posts in 2013. Of those, 44 were replaced by other women. Of the 1,087 men who left their posts last year, 116 were replaced by women, while 746 were replaced by other men, the report said. This is a slight improvement over last year, when 148 women left the CEO role and 136 rose to the top spot.

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.