August 2020 CEO Turnover Report: CEO Exits Slows; Year-to-Date is Down 11%



Turnover in the top position slowed in August, as employers at U.S.-based companies announced 109 Chief Executive Officer changes, 13% lower than the 125 CEO changes announced in July, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

August’s total was 31% lower than the 159 CEO exits reported in August 2019. In total, 897 chief executives have left their roles so far this year, down 11% from the 1,009 CEOs who announced their departures in January-August 2019.

“With a global pandemic, a recession, and an upcoming presidential election, executives are faced with making critical decisions during extremely uncertain times,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“Some CEOs are rising to the occasion and leading companies through turbulence never seen before. But these challenges can be incredibly difficult for others. Many companies have delayed or abandoned planned actions due to these uncertainties,” he added.

Government/Non-Profit sector CEOs announced the highest number of changes in August with 17, a 39% decrease from July’s 28 and a 43% decrease from the 30 reported in August 2019. This sector, which includes charities, foundations, and government-run entities such as transportation authorities or public education, leads all industries in CEO turnover this year with 165, down 24% from the 218 reported in January-August 2019.

“This sector, particularly the Non-Profit sector, is significantly impacted during recessions, as these entities rely on giving and government funding,” said Challenger.

Read and download the full report here