Chief Executive Officer turnover fell for the second month in a row to 94, down 27% from the 128 who left their posts in February. It is the lowest monthly total in 20 months, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

March’s total is 30% lower than the same month last year, when 135 CEO exits were recorded. In the first quarter of 2020, 441 chief executives left their posts, 6% higher than the 416 who left in the same period last year and 8% lower than the previous quarter, when 480 CEOs left their posts, the highest quarterly total on record. It is the highest Q1 total since the firm began tracking in 2002.

“The COVID-19 outbreak has put the brakes on the economy in many ways. As millions file for unemployment, companies grapple with conducting permanent layoffs or furloughs and some are considering shutting down operations temporarily or even closing entirely,” said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“The $2 trillion stimulus package currently being distributed includes help for small and mid-size businesses, and many companies are still in wait-and-see mode before implementing drastic changes. In fact, we have seen some CEOs postpone resignations and retirements during this period,” he added.

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