Are You A Besieged CEO? Not Compared With Australia's Top Guns

Compiled By Jill Jusko If you feel under intense pressure to perform as CEO of a U.S.-based company, then surely you must have sympathy with corporate chiefs in Australia, where -- according to a recent study -- CEO average tenure is almost half that of their global peers. The recent study by global consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton shows that Australia's CEO turnover rate is higher than the global rate (16.8% vs. 10.1%), while average tenure there in 2002 was 4.4 years compared with 8.6 years globally. "The main concern that arose from the study was that because the rate of CEO turnover in Australia is higher than in Europe and North America, there is significantly less time for Australian CEOs to devise and execute their change agenda," says Booz Allen Vice President Marion Skulley. CEO turnover related to mergers and acquisitions in Australia also are higher due than the global average (21% vs. 14%). However, much like global trends, CEOs in the financial services sector appear to be safest in terms of retaining their jobs. "[The results] highlight a worrying trend that our markets have an increasing focus on short-term outcomes from CEOs as opposed to their capacity to deliver longer-term strategies of value creation," says John Schubert, president of the Business Council of Australia (BCA). BCA jointly conducted the Australian study, which is an extension of a global study that occurred in May 2003.

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