CEO Exits Tick Up 8.6% In August From July; YTD Exits Nearly Match 2021


Published September 21, 2022

August ’22 CEO Turnover Ticks Up

The number of CEO changes at U.S. companies rose slightly in August to 63, up 9% from the 58 CEO exits recorded in July, which was the lowest monthly total since April 2020, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

August exits fell 47% from the 118 announced in the same month last year. So far this year, 895 CEOs have left their posts, virtually equal (+0.8%) to the 888 CEOs who left their posts through August 2021. 

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“CEO exits took a nosedive after May, and have slowed this summer. As companies grapple with getting their teams back to work, recession fears, and inflation concerns, many are holding on to their leaders to weather these issues,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Gov’t, Tech, Hospitals, Health Care Lead in 2022

Technology firms led all industries in CEO turnover last month with 11 and 98 for the year. This is down 7.5% from the 106 Tech CEOs who left their positions in the same period last year.

“Tech is one of the few industries undergoing layoffs right now, as demand, particularly for delivery apps, has fallen since 2020. Meanwhile, recession and inflation issues limit some investing in Tech, which may mean new leadership is needed,” said Challenger.

Government/Non-Profit entities lead all industries in CEO turnover with 193 so far this year, 6 in August. The Services sector also saw 6 CEO changes last month, and 64 for the year, up 19% from the 54 exits in the industry through August 2021. 

Hospitals recorded 6 CEO changes last month for a year-to-date total of 77, up 13% from the 68 tracked through the same period in 2021.

“Hospitals continue to be hammered on the labor front. The staff shortages, access-to-care concerns, legal issues, and resource management issues continue to create challenges for Hospital leadership, and leaders themselves are not immune from the burnout felt at all levels,” said Challenger.

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The majority of CEOs stepped down from their roles this year with 219. These CEOs usually serve as the company’s Chair or advisor to the new CEO. Another 210 retired. Nine CEOs had their positions terminated, and five left amid scandal.

Gender in the C-Suite

The rate of women taking over the CEO role continues to hover near 26%, similar to the year-end total last year, and up significantly from the 12% recorded in 2010.

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

For the first time since Challenger began tracking sex in 2010, the firm tracked one non-binary person assuming the CEO position in August, replacing a male-identifying CEO. (See “Incoming CEOs by Gender” in the attached report.)


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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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A Sept. 21 report from executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas report found that six U.S. hospital CEOs left their positions in August, bringing the total number of departures in 2022 to 77. Sixty-eight hospital CEOs left their roles in the first eight months of last year.


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