CEO Exits Surge in October to Highest on Record

Churn in the C-Suite surged in October to a new high in a record-setting year, as 172 chief executives left their posts during the month, 14% more than the 151 CEOs who left in September, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Last month’s total was 15% higher than the 149 CEO exits announced in the same month last year. September marks the ninth time this year that CEO changes were higher than the corresponding month one year earlier.

So far this year, 1,332 CEOs have left their posts, according to Challenger tracking, 13% higher than the 1,176 CEOs who had announced their exits through October 2018. It is the highest January-October total since the firm began tracking in 2002.

“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,” said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

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