July CEO turnover lowest of the year, Challenger Gray reports
Departures among chief executive officers fell to the lowest level of the year in July, as 83 leadership changes were announced during the month. This marks the slowest month for CEO turnover since last December, when 83 changes were also recorded, according to the latest report on CEO turnover released August 8 by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
July CEO departures were down 16.2 percent from a June total of 99 and were 20.2 percent lower than the 104 CEO exits announced in July 2011. Challenger has now tracked 692 CEO changes in 2012. That is 2.5 percent lower than the 710 CEO departures recorded during the same period last year.
For the year, health care continues to see the heaviest turnover. It leads all other sectors with 140 CEO changes in 2012, including an industry-leading 13 in July. The government/non-profit sector saw 11 CEO changes last month, while computer and financial firms each announced 9 departures.
Computer companies have announced 70 CEO changes this year, including another at Yahoo! in July when Ross Levinsohn, who had been serving on an interim basis since Scott Thompson’s departure, passed the reins to former Google executive Marissa Mayer. The computer sector is the third highest industry in turnover so far this year, preceded by the government/non-profit sector which has seen 94 CEO departures. Firms in the financial sector have seen 57 CEO changes through July.
Thirty CEOs cited resignation as the reason for their departures last month, and it continues to be the most cited reason with 205 for the year. Retirement follows with 143, only 6 of which came in July. To date, 114 chief executives, including 15 in in July, stepped down, usually staying with the company as a board member or other C-level executive.
Six CEOs were removed or ousted from their positions last month, depending on the wording of the announcement, including Susan McGalla of Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. The board decided to oust her amid dismal financials. Additionally, Kenneth Burdick, CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota was removed after a board investigation into disclosure practices. While no unlawful practices were found, the company decided the lack of disclosure warranted Burdick’s removal.
Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.; www.challengergray.com.