2012 ended with spate of CEO exits

Jan. 10, 2013 at 4:42 PM

CHICAGO, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- More than 100 U.S. companies experienced changes at the top in December, pushing the final three-month total of CEO changes for 2012 to 323, a firm said.

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said 103 chief executive officers were replaced in December, 8 percent fewer than the 112 who left in November and 4.6 percent fewer than the 108 departures in October.

The three-month total, however, was 26 percent higher than the final three months of 2011, when 256 CEOs were replaced.

In 2012, there were 1,213 CEO departures, a 3 percent increase over the 1,178 top management departures in 2011.

"The increased pace of CEO turnover in the final months of 2012 could be indicative of a turning point in the recovery. We may see heavy turnover continue into 2013 as the economy continues to improve and companies shake up management to reflect a change in strategy from one centered around maintaining stability to one focused on growth and expansion," said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago outplacement consultancy.

For the year, healthcare CEOs had the highest number of departures with 230. Second most CEO exits were in government and non-profit companies, which saw 179 departures. Third on the list was computer firms with 127 departures.

The most common reason given for a CEO departure was resignation, which accounted for 360 departures. Retirement claimed 267 others, while 200 stepped into a new position, most often as a board member or chairman of the board.

Another 138 CEOs found work in other companies, Challenger, Gray & Christmas said.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Ted Cruz campaign pulls ad featuring softcore porn actress
Report: Clinton Foundation subpoenaed by State Dept. watchdog over charity projects
Ruby Rose, Gigi Hadid react to Kanye West's lyric about Taylor Swift
Kristen Wiig impersonates Peyton Manning on 'The Tonight Show'
NYC police officer found guilty of manslaughter in Brooklyn stairway shooting