Challenger CEO Exit Report Released; Monthly Numbers Up while YTD Total is Down

The nation’s employers announced 119 chief executive changes in September, up 9.2% from August’s total of 109, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

September’s total was 21% lower than the 151 CEO exits reported in the same month last year. For the year, 1,016 chief executives have left their roles so far, down 12.4% from the 1,160 CEOs who announced their departures in the first nine months of last year.

The third quarter totaled 353 chief executive departures, up 59% from the 222 departures recorded in the second quarter of this year. It is down 18.7% from the 434 chief executive departures announced in the third quarter of 2019.

"The uncertainty in the second quarter about how COVID-19 would impact businesses left many CEOs in their positions. As the pandemic continued to last and grew stronger in the third quarter, we began to see companies announce changes intended to weather the storm,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Read the full report with data tables here.