2015 July CEO Report: 128 CEOs Leave Their Posts, Led by Financial

As Google prepares to shuffle chief executive officers in the wake of its just-announced reorganization, a new report reveals that July experienced the highest number of CEO changes in 18 months.

Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers surged in July, with 128 CEOs announcing their departures during the month. That was up 26 percent from 102 in June, and represents the highest monthly total since 131 CEOs left their posts in January 2014, according to the latest report from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Last month’s total was 19 percent higher than a year ago when 105 CEO departures were recorded in July.

Despite the July surge, the pace of CEO turnover is down from last year. To date, 716 CEO changes have been announced, which is 6.5 percent fewer than the 766 CEO departures announced through the first seven months of 2014.

  • Financial firms saw the highest number of CEO changes in July with 23, the highest one-month total for the sector on record, and the highest one-month total of any industry except health care and government/non-profit.
  • Hospitals announced the second highest number of CEO changes in July with 18, followed by government/non-profit agencies and other health care services and products which each saw 11 changes.
  • California leads all states in terms of CEO departures, with 79 exits announced this year, including 13 in July, the most of any state last month. Missouri followed with 11 announcements in July, making the state’s year-to-date total 28. For the year, Texas has 48, New York has 41, and Massachusetts has 40 CEO changes.
  • The most oft-cited reason for CEO changes last month was resignation, cited in 33 departure announcements. Another 27 CEOs retired during the month, and 27 stepped down into other roles with their companies. Twenty-one found new positions in other companies.

The CEO changes at Google, which see Sundar Pichai take over for Larry Page who moves to the top spot at the newly formed parent company Alphabet, will be included in August tracking.

The tech sector also experienced a notable shake-up in July, as Ellen Pao was forced from her position as CEO of online community Reddit, after just 8 months, amid vocal protestations from the site’s users over the dismissal of another executive, as well as the banning of user platforms called subreddits. She was replaced by co-founder Steve Huffman.

Meanwhile, outside of the technology sector, PPG Industries, the world’s largest paint manufacturer, announced the planned succession of CEO Charles Bunch by president Michael McGarry. The CEO of AMC Entertainment Gerry Lopez left his post to replace Jim Douglas as CEO of Extended Stay America. Lopez was replaced at AMC by CFO Craig Ramsey.