CEOs Stay Put As COVID Uncertainty Takes Hold of Economy

Chief Executive Officer turnover plunged to 48 exits in April, the lowest monthly total since 46 departures were recorded in November 2004, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

April’s total is 51% lower than the 97 CEO exits that were tracked in April 2019 and 49% lower than the 94 who left their posts in March. So far this year, 489 chief executives have left their posts, 4.7% lower than the 513 CEO changes tracked between January 2019 and April 2019.

“CEO turnover was at record highs last year, and January saw the most CEO exits in a single month ever recorded. The volatility in CEO movement reflects the volatility we are seeing in the job market overall,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Last month’s total was led by the Technology sector, which saw nine chief executive replacements in April for a total of 67 for the year, leading all sectors in CEO turnover. That is 49% higher than the 45 CEO changes tracked through the same period last year.

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