Chief Executive Officer turnover jumped 8%, from 148 in November to 160 in December, the second-highest monthly total since Challenger began tracking CEO departures in 2002, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Last month’s total is 29% higher than the 129 CEOs who left their posts in December 2018 In 2019, 1,640 CEOs left their posts, according to Challenger tracking, 12.9% higher than the 1,452 CEOs who announced their exits in 2018. It is the highest total since the firm began tracking in 2002.

“The number of chief executives who announced their departures in 2019 was staggering,” said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

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