CEO Changes Remain High

Published March 13, 2019

Employers at U.S.-based companies announced 124 chief executive officer changes last month, 9.7 percent higher than the 113 CEO changes announced in February 2018, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

February’s total was 21 percent lower than the 157 CEO exits announced in January. So far this year, 281 CEOs have left their posts, 14.7 percent higher than the 245 CEOs who left their posts through February last year.

“Companies are making changes to their leadership in light of economic uncertainty, a war for talent, and changes to consumer behavior. Chief executives have ample opportunities at the moment,” said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.


Challenger tracks CEO changes at companies that have been in business for at least two years, with a minimum of ten employees.

Companies in the Government/Non-Profit sector lead all industries in CEO changes with 59, 30 of which occurred in February. Health Care/Products companies follow with 28, Services companies with 27, and Technology firms with 23.

Through February, 124 chief executives stepped down into other positions within the company, usually as a Chairperson or other member of the C-Suite. Another 75 CEOs retired, while 23 found new positions in other companies. Two CEOs reportedly left due to scandal, while another two left due to professional misconduct allegations.

US region with the highest CEO turnover

California companies reported the highest number of CEO changes with 36, followed by Texas with 23. New York reported 21 CEO exits. Massachusetts had 17 CEO changes, while Florida companies announced 16.

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

Contact Challenger for Media Inquiries


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