Published on: Oct 12, 2016

Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers jumped in September as 119 planned CEO departures were reported, up 9 percent from the 109 in August, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The September total was up 14.4 percent from the same month a year ago when 104 were recorded.

Overall, third-quarter CEO departures totaled 320, an increase of 5 percent from the 305 announced during the preceding quarter. The third quarter total was 5 percent lower than the same three-month period last year when 339 CEO changes were recorded.

Challenger has now tracked 944 CEO changes so far this year, 1.8 percent more than the 927 departures announced in the first nine months of 2015.

September CEO departures were led by government/non-profit entities which announced 21 CEO departures last month. Government/non-profit institutions are leading all industries in CEO changes so far this year with 155, 50 of which were announced in the third quarter. This industry has announced 17 percent more CEO changes in 2016 than through the same period last year when 132 were recorded.

Financial firms have announced the second highest number of CEO departures this year with 118, 13 in September. Hospitals came in third place with 111 so far in 2016, 13 last month.

California and Texas led the country in announced CEO departures in 2016 with 90 each. Texas announced 8 CEO changes in September, California announced 10. New York has recorded 60 CEO changes this year, 11 of which occurred in September. Florida recorded the fourth highest number of CEO changes this year with 56, 14 last month.

Retirement was the most oft-cited reason for departure so far this year as 261 chief executives used this reason, 26 in September. Another 203 resigned, while 200 stepped into other positions, usually at the C-level or as board chair. One hundred found new positions in other companies, while 36 were ousted this year.

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Contact Colleen Madden Blumenfeld for more data or to set up an interview with SVP Andy Challenger.

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