2016 March CEO Report: Changes Churn on to 101

Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers rose in March, as 101 CEO departures were announced, up 16 percent from 87 in February, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The March total was 6 percent higher than the same month a year ago, when announced CEO departures totaled 95. So far this year, 319 CEOs have left their posts, 7 percent more than the 299 CEOs who left during the same period last year, and 8.5 percent more than the last quarter of 2015.

First quarter CEO changes were led by government and non-profit organizations, which saw 61 exits, 20 of which occurred in March. These firms saw a 65 percent increase over the same period last year, when just 37 CEOs left their posts from this sector.

Financial firms followed with 36, while 34 hospital CEOs announced their departures. Companies in the computer industry recorded 26 CEO changes so far this year, while entertainment and leisure companies recorded 21.

Texas has seen the highest number of CEO departures so far this year with 39, a 69 percent increase from the 23 recorded by this time last year. California follows which recorded 29 CEO changes. Twenty CEOs have left Ohio-based companies, while 18 left firms headquartered in Illinois.
Retirement was the most oft-cited reason for departure with 95 CEOs using this explanation, 28 of whom offered this reason in March.

Meanwhile, 74 chief executives have “stepped down” into other positions within the company, typically as chairmen, board members, or other executive-level positions. Resignation follows as the next most-oft cited reason with 68 for the year; 23 found new positions in other companies; and 22 saw their interim services end.

Two CEOs left their posts amid scandal this year, including CEO of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells Raymond Moore. He resigned after making inflammatory comments about women tennis players. Another 12 CEOs were ousted from their offices.