2015 October CEO Report: 94 CEO Changes in Oct, Down 10 Percent

Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers fell in October as 94 planned CEO departures were reported, down 9.6 percent from the 104 in September, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The October total was 23 percent lower than the same month a year ago when 122 were recorded. In fact, October marked the third month in a row CEO departures were lower than the corresponding month last year.

Challenger has now tracked 1,021 CEO changes so far this year, 9.7 percent fewer than the 1,131 departures announced in the first ten months of 2014.

The government/non-profit led all sectors in October with 18 CEO departures. Companies in the government/non-profit space announced 150 CEO departures so far in 2015, the most in any sector.

Hospitals have recorded the second highest number of CEO changes this year with 119, 13 of which occurred in October. Financial services firms announced 5 CEO changes in October, but are ranked second for the year with 113. Computer firms reported 12 CEO changes in October, ranking fourth for the year with 92.

California has seen the highest number of CEO departures in 2015 with 107, followed by Texas with 81. New York and Massachusetts have both reported 57 CEO changes so far this year.

majority of CEOs retired in October, as 26 companies cited this reason in announcements, bringing the yearly total to 252. Twenty CEOs officially “resigned” last month, 257 for the year. Another 17 stepped down into a board position or other chief-level role in October, while 9 saw their interim period end.

Two CEOs left their posts due to health reasons, including Oscar Munoz who took over United Continental from Jeff Smisek in September. Three CEOs were ousted in October, bringing the year-to-date total for ousted CEOs to 24.