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Most CEO Changes in 12 Months

The first month of the new year saw the highest turnover among chief executive officers since the previous January as 113 CEOs left their posts during the month. The January total is up 9.7 percent over December when 103 CEOs departures were announced, according to the latest report on CEO turnover released from global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The 113 CEO changes recorded last month were 10.3 percent fewer than January 2012, when 126 CEOs left their posts. Health care products manufacturers and hospitals saw the heaviest CEO turnover in January with 23 departures. Health care was followed by the computer industry, where 13 CEO changes were announced. Financial firms announced 12 CEO changes, including E-Trade Financial’s Frank J. Petrilli, who stepped down as CEO but will remain with the company as board chairman.

Government and non-profit entities had 10 CEO changes, while retailers, pharmaceutical/biotech firms, and energy companies each saw six CEO departures.

“We saw several major retailers announce CEO transitions in January, generally amid financial losses or under-performance. Sears Holdings, particularly, has seen declining earnings over the last five years. Lou D’Ambrosio will step down and Edward Stewart will assume the role,” noted John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “Struggling grocer Supervalu also announced a chief executive change. Wayne Sales, who oversaw the successful purchase of several of Supervalu’s major chains by Cerberus, will be replaced by former OfficeMax CEO Sam Duncan. Another retailer, dEliA’s, announced the board will not renew the contract with current CEO Walter Killough.”

Thirty CEOs cited resignation as their reason for leaving the top job, while 25 stepped into other roles with the company, typically as a board member or other C-level executive. Another 24 CEOs retired from their positions, while 13 found new positions in other companies.

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

January

113

123

96

89

113

134

February

104

92

132

82

114

March

94

99

119

114

123

April

90

103

101

78

112

May

99

103

125

115

115

June

99

113

107

105

126

July

83

104

88

126

124

August

104

104

95

101

144

September

95

108

111

105

140

October

108

91

81

89

125

November

112

82

79

94

104

December

103

83

107

105

123

TOTAL

113

1,214

1,178

1,234

1,227

1,484

CHIEF EXECUTIVE DEPARTURES

Public vs. Private

13-Jan

12-Dec

2012 Year-End Total

Private

93

83

948

Public

20

20

266

CEO DEPARTURES

By Industry

12-Jan

12-Dec

13-Jan

Aerospace/Defense

1

1

Apparel

1

1

Automotive

1

Chemical

1

1

Commodities

1

1

Computer

10

12

13

Construction

3

1

3

Consumer Products

3

1

2

Electronics

5

5

Energy

5

3

6

Entertainment/Leisure

5

4

5

Financial

13

13

12

Food

2

1

4

Government/Non-Profit

11

17

10

Health Care/Products

25

18

23

Industrial Goods

2

6

4

Insurance

3

2

Legal

1

Media

4

2

2

Pharmaceutical

9

3

6

Real Estate

1

3

Retail

6

1

6

Services

8

6

4

Telecommunications

1

3

3

Transportation

2

2

2

Utility

3

TOTAL

123

103

113

CEO DEPARTURES

By Reason

13-Jan

Resigned

30

Step Down

25

Retired

24

New position in another company

13

Interim Period Ended

10

Acquisition/Merger

3

Contract Dispute/Expiration

3

Another position within company

2

Differences with Board

1

Health

1

Bankruptcy

1

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