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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


Public vs. Private

13-Jan 12-Dec 2012 Year-End Total
Private 93 83 948
Public 20 20 266



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



By Reason

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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