Government, Nonprofit Sector Leads February CEO Turnover Rate

March 16, 2011
Health care, pharmaceutical, energy and automotive among top 10 chief executive changes.

Slightly fewer CEOs left their posts in February compared with the previous month, indicating some volatility still remains within leadership positions, according to a monthly report on CEO turnover by Challenger, Grey & Christmas.

For the first two months of the year, 188 CEO departures have been announced, down 15% from 2010.

CEO turnover in the financial and government/non-profit sectors were the highest with each losing 14 CEOs.

Health care followed with 13 CEO changes. The energy sector recorded six departures in February, the pharmaceutical industry reported five and the auto industry three.

The most common reason for CEO departures this year has been attributed to resignations, with 54 stepping down from their posts. Retirements accounted for 27% of last month's 92 CEO departures.

Mergers and acquisitions resulted in five CEO exits in February. Four others left their posts because of scandals.

More departures could be on the way with new regulations in place, says John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

"This volatility could increase in the coming months as recent legislation requires financial institutions, particularly smaller credit unions, to restructure ineffective management," he says.

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