2014 August CEO Report: 119 CEOs, Home Depot, Sprint Make Announcements

The pace of turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers increased in August, as 119 CEOs announced their departures during the month, according to a report issued Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The August total was up 13.3 percent from the 105 CEO departures recorded in July. It was 5.3 percent higher than the 113 CEO changes announced the same month a year ago. Last month’s total was the highest August total since 144 CEOs announced their departures in August 2008.

Through the first eight months of the year, US-based companies have announced 885 CEO changes, 5.1 percent more than the 842 CEO exits tracked through August 2013.

Health organizations lead August with 25 announced changes, totaling 205 so far in 2014. That is 21.3 percent more than the 169 departures health care organizations announced during the same period last year.

Government and non-profit agencies announced 17 CEO departures last month. The financial industry saw 12 CEO changes. Companies in entertainment and leisure announced 8 CEO departures, while computer firms announced 7.

California leads all states in CEO departures this year with 113, 11 of which occurred in August. Texas follows with 71 CEO departures this year. Pennsylvania has 49 CEO changes, while Florida experienced 46 departures. New York has 45 CEO changes.

Forty-one CEOs resigned last month, while 26 retired. Nineteen CEOs found new positions in other companies, and the same number saw their interim periods end.

One of the biggest announcements came from retailer Home Depot, whose long-time CEO Frank Blake announced he will step down after seven years and remain Chairman. Home Depot recently experienced a data breach which analysts say could be the largest yet, affecting 60 million credit card numbers.

Sprint also announced that CEO Dan Hesse will resign after seven years of declining customers. Marcelo Claure, former founder and CEO of Miami-based telecommunications firm Brightstar Corp., will lead the telecommunications giant.

“Companies engaged in selling to consumers are undergoing significant changes as competition heats up, especially from online retailers like Amazon,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.