2015 April CEO Report: 97 CEO Changes, Financial Leads

Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers remained virtually unchanged in April, as 97 CEOs announced their departures during the month, compared to 95 in March, according to the latest report from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The April total was 3 percent higher than the same month a year ago, when CEO departures reached 94. So far this year, 396 CEO changes have been announced, 14 percent fewer than the 460 CEO departures announced through the first four months of 2014.

  • Companies in the financial sector saw the highest CEO turnover last month with 12, bringing the year-to-date departures to 50. That is second only to hospitals, which have undergone 52 CEO changes through the first four months of 2015.
  • Computer firms, which had the second highest number of departures at this point a year ago, with 56, have seen 32 CEOs announce their exits this year, including 11 in April. The 32 computer CEO departures recorded to date ranks fourth, behind hospitals, financial, and government/non-profit.
  • California leads all other states in terms of CEO departures, with 39 exits announced this year. That total includes 17 CEO changes announced by California-based firms in April.
  • Meanwhile, Massachusetts saw the number of CEO exits announced this year double in April, recording 12 in April. The 24 departures announced by Massachusetts firms ties it with New York for the third heaviest CEO turnover. Texas CEOs rank second in departures, with 31 so far in 2015.
  • The most oft-cited reason for CEO changes last month was retirement, cited in 24 April departure announcements. Another 20 CEOs resigned during the month. Together retirements and resignations account for 191 or nearly half of the 396 CEO exits recorded in 2015.