By John S. McClenahen If your company bid an unscheduled farewell to the CEO last year, you have company. Although dismissals of underperforming chief executives dropped to 31% of all CEO departures from 39% in 2002, the overall rate of dismissals increased 170% from 1995 through 2003, consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton reported May 17. Some 9.5% of the world's 2,500 largest publicly traded companies changed their CEOs in 2003. Last year, utilities, telecommunications firms and information technology companies around the world had the highest rates of forced CEO turnover. Financial services firms had the lowest, according to the Booz Allen study of 237 CEOs who left office in 2003.