Published July 7, 2021


U.S. companies announced 104 CEO changes in June, up 5% from the 99 who left their posts in May, according to a report by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

In the second quarter, 336 CEOs left their posts, an increase of 9% over the 307 CEOs who left their posts last quarter, and a 51% increase from the 222 CEOs who left their posts in the second quarter of 2020. It is the highest quarterly total since the first quarter of 2020, when 441 CEO exits were announced.

CEO Departures by Month

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Last month’s total is up 14% from the 91 CEOs who left their posts in June 2020. So far this year, 643 CEOs have left their posts, down 3% from the 663 CEO changes tracked through the first half of last year.

“CEO Turnover has leveled off somewhat since the peaks and valleys we saw in 2020. Many employers are concerned about an exodus of talent, and that includes from the top levels,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Which industries are seeing the most CEO Changes?

CEO turnover is led by Government/Non-Profit entities, which include charities, foundations, school systems, transportation authorities, and other government-funded entities. This sector announced 125 CEO changes this year, up 4.2% from the 120 announced in the first half of 2020.

Another 73 CEOs left Health Care/Products firms, 22% higher than the 60 who left through the same period last year. Technology firms announced 69 CEO changes, down 17% from the 83 chief executives who left Tech companies through the first five months of 2020.

Companies in Consumer Products manufacturing announced 26 CEO changes this year, up 160% from the 10 who left their post. Meanwhile, Real Estate CEO turnover increased 86% to 13 from 7 who left their posts last year.

“Supply chain issues are still plaguing many industries as the economy recovers from COVID-19. Commercial Real Estate is in total flux as workplaces determine whether they will keep workers in a physical office or downsize,” said Challenger.

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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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