2015 August CEO Report: 107 Departures Led by Gov't, Non-Profit

After July marked the highest turnover among chief executive officers in 18 months, the number of CEO departures fell 16 percent to 107 in August, according to the latest report from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

August departures were down 10 percent from the same month last year when 119 CEO exits were recorded.

A total of 823 CEO changes have been announced to date, which is 7 percent fewer than the 885 CEO departures announced through the first eight months of 2014.

Government and non-profits saw the highest number of CEO changes in August with 17, bringing the year-to-date total in that sector to 115.

Hospitals announced the second highest number of CEO changes in August with 11, followed by financial companies and other health care services and products which each saw 10 changes.

California leads all states in terms of CEO departures, with 87 exits announced this year, including 8 in August. Texas follows with 12 departures in August bringing the state’s total to 60. New York counted 7 CEO changes in August, bringing its total to third-ranking 48.

The most oft-cited reason for CEO changes last month was resignation, cited in 39 departure announcements. Another 27 CEOs retired during the month, and 13 stepped down into other roles with their companies. Twelve found new positions in other companies.

The biggest announcement last month came from Ashley Madison, a Canada-based, and therefore not counted in Challenger’s tracking, online dating website for married people. The company’s CEO Noel Biderman left after a massive data breach impacted 37 million accounts. Since 2011, three CEOs have left amid data breaches, according to Challenger: Greg Steinhefel at Target in 2014; Aaron Barr of HBGary Federal in 2011; and Les Hinton, also in 2011, after the Dow Jones hack.