July CEO Exits Push 7-Month Total to 725

August 8, 2018 by Paul Ausick

In July 2018, 94 chief executive officers left their jobs, according to the latest report from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That’s a year-over-year decrease of 8% and a month-over-month increase of 4.4%. For the first seven months of the year, 725 CEOs have left their jobs, 8% more than for the same period last year.

In all of 2017, a total of 1,160 CEOs left their jobs, down 7% from the prior year’s total of 1,248. Of the total, 11 were due to allegations of sexual misconduct, up from three in both 2015 and 2016.

CEO John Challenger noted:

CEO departures have trended lower since the recession. Last year saw the fewest CEO changes since 2004. Announced layoffs are also below average, according to Challenger tracking. While companies are enjoying a healthy economy, employers are having trouble finding the talent needed to sustain growth. At the CEO level, this talent shortage is even more acute.

The government/nonprofit sector has experienced 145 CEO changes so far this year, of which 27 occurred in July. The total represents a 46% year-over-year increase.

In the computer industry, 91 CEOs have left their positions, including 13 in the month of July. For the first seven months of the year, CEO departures are up 72% compared to the same period last year.

Of the CEOs who have departed in 2018, 217 retired and 87 resigned, while 64 found new positions with other companies. A large number of the departing CEOs — 217 — stepped down to other positions in their companies, either as board members or another C-level executive.

California companies have seen the highest number of CEO changes this year with 84, nine of which occurred in July. Companies in Texas saw 11 departures last month, while Massachusetts and Florida reported five each.