July CEO turnover report numbers are up; total number of departures still below 2019

Chief Executive Officer turnover rose to 125 in July, up 37% from the 91 exits reported in June, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The number of CEO departures is almost equal to the 124 reported in July 2019. So far this year, 788 chief executives have left their posts, 7.3% lower than the 850 CEO changes reported between January 2019 and July 2019.

CEO turnover stalled in April, as the pandemic brought everything to a halt. Now, we’re beginning to see companies make decisions about leadership going forward, as they assess the new challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“For new people taking on the CEO role, it can be a completely novel experience, even for a seasoned C-Suite executive. Many employees continue to work from home, so the only way for a CEO to meet his or her new staff, even the top executives, is virtually. The entire CEO hiring process may have taken place remotely. Additionally, new CEOs may be leading companies from their homes for some time to come.”

Read more and download the report

Additional coverage

Andrew Challenger, Challenger, Gray & Christmas SVP joins Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade with Alexis Christoforous and Brian Sozzi to discuss the spike in turnover of CEOs across all major sectors in the month of July.