2015 February CEO Report: 94 CEOs Out in February

Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers declined in February, as 94 CEO departures were announced during the month. That was down 14.5 percent from 110 in January, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The February total was 16.1 percent lower than the same month a year ago, when CEO departures reached 112. So far this year, 204 CEO changes have been announced. This is the lowest January/February total since 2011, when 188 CEOs announced their departures.

February departures were led by CEOs in both hospitals and financial firms, both of which saw 14 chief executives announce their exits. Government and non-profit CEOs followed with 10, and computer firms experienced 9 CEO changes for the month.

Companies based in Texas and Florida have seen the highest number of CEO departures so far this year with 18 each, followed by New York which recorded 13 CEO changes, and Pennsylvania with nine.

The most commonly cited reason for CEO departures this year has been “stepping down,” which was the language used in 56 announcements. These executives remain with the company in some capacity as Chairmen, board members, or some other executive position.

In February, retirement was the most oft-cited reason for departure, with 26 CEOs using this explanation. That brings the two-month total to 44. Meanwhile, 53 chief executives have resigned, so far this year; 22 found new positions in other companies, including 13 who were named CEO; and seven CEOs left under a cloud, having been ousted, removed due to scandal, or left amid conflict with the board.

So far this year, 159 CEO replacements have been recorded. Of those, 75 are from outside the company, 17 of whom were former CEOs elsewhere. Of those replacements who came from within the organization, sixteen Chairmen or board members took over the CEO role, 3 on an interim basis.