2015 November CEO Report: Lowest Monthly Total In 33 Months

Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers fell to a 33-month low in November as 86 CEO departures were announced during the month, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The November total was 8.5 percent lower than the 94 CEO exits recorded in October. It represents the lowest monthly total in since matching the 86 CEO departures announced in March 2013.

November departures were 16.5 percent lower than the same month a year ago when 103 were recorded. This marks the fourth consecutive month in which CEO departures were lower than the corresponding month last year.

Challenger has now tracked 1,107 CEO changes so far this year, 10.3 percent fewer than the 1,234 departures announced in the first eleven months of 2014.

Government and non-profit organizations led all other sectors in November with 11 CEO departures. The 161 CEO departures announced by these entities in 2015 also leads all other sectors in year-to-date exits.

Health care products and services, excluding hospitals, announced the second most CEO changes in November with 10. These firms have announced 84 CEO changes this year. Hospitals have recorded the second highest number of CEO changes this year with 126, 7 of which occurred in November.

Computer firms also reported 7 CEO changes in November, bringing the year-to-date total in this industry to 99, which ranks fourth behind the 119 departures announced in the financial sector.

“While the computer sector has not had the highest turnover, it has seen some notable changes this year, including a significant re-shuffling at Google. We also saw the founder of Twitter come back to once again head the social media firm,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

“Another major CEO exit in the computer industry may be just around the corner, as pressure for a change appears to be mounting at Yahoo. It remains to be seen if Marissa Mayer will be out by year’s end. If that occurs, the company will be on its fifth CEO change since 2011,” said Challenger.

California has seen the highest number of CEO departures in 2015 with 119, 12 of which occurred last month, followed by Texas with 83. Florida has recorded 63 CEO changes this year, while Massachusetts had 61. Ohio had the second highest number of CEO changes in November with 8, bringing that state’s year-to-date total to 40.

The same number of CEOs reportedly resigned and retired, as 20 companies each cited those reasons in announcements, bringing the yearly totals to 272 and 270 respectively. Another 16 stepped down into a board position or other chief-level role in November. Nine saw their interim periods end, while 7 found positions in new companies.