Record 1,332 CEOs have left their jobs this year: survey

Record 1,332 CEOs have left their jobs this year: survey
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A record 1,332 CEOs have left their positions through October this year, a survey released Wednesday found.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. found that 172 CEOs stepped down last month, pushing this year’s total beyond any January through October period since the company began tracking CEO departures in 2002.

The number of exits this year is 13 percent higher than the 1,176 CEOs who announced their departure through October in 2018.


Andrew Challenger, the vice president of the company, said in the release the majority of CEO departures occurred based on “normal succession plans,” but six CEOs left in October over professional misconduct allegations. 

“October was marked by a number of high-profile CEO exits, with many being held accountable for various missteps, whether in their professional handling of the company or in their personal lives,” Challenger said.

The number of CEO exits this year beats the previous record of CEO exits through October in 2008 during the Great Recession, when 1,257 CEOs left.

Most of the CEOs who exited last month, amounting to 35 chief executives, ran companies in the government/nonprofit sector. The CEOs of these companies have left at a 25 percent higher rate this year than 2018 through October.

Technology and financial companies, respectfully, have experienced the next highest CEO departure rates this year.

The study follows two months of turmoil for chief executives as the heads of WeWork, Juul, Nike, Under Armour and eBay all confirmed they were leaving their positions, NBC News reported. McDonald’s announced it fired its CEO this weekend after he had a relationship with an employee.

CEOs are tracked from companies that have existed for at least two years and have at least 10 employees, according to the release.