The latest study that Challenger, Gray & Christmas revealed to BloggingStocks reports that October was the eighth month this year in which CEO turnover was down year-over-year. Through the end of last month, 1,028 CEO positions changed hands -- down 18% from the 1,257 by the same point in 2008. In fact, the tally for the first 10 months of 2009 is the lowest since 2004, when the big office found only 561 new inhabitants.
The financial industry remains the toughest place for CEOs, with 19 leaving the job last month. Even though the situation has gotten easier, this industry still has the highest turnover. For the year, approximately 10% of all CEO departures (106) have been in the financial sector. "The financial industry is still incredibly volatile, as both October and September saw major announcements from leading companies including JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and last month's bankruptcy of CIT Group, which led to the exit of CEO Jeffrey Peek," John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, says.
The situation was made more difficult by inquiries into executive compensation following the bailouts, with Challenger suspecting that there could be "many more CEO departures to come in the financial sector."
For the first 10 months of this year, CEO turnover in the financial industry was eclipsed by the healthcare sector, in which 159 CEO positions have turned over, with only eight of them coming last month. Also, the government and nonprofit sector saw 130 CEOs leave this year.
The energy sector is one of the few industries to see CEO turnover increase from last year -- from 32 through October 2008 to 47 through October 2009. Challenger notes, "Some of the change may be coming from companies seeking new leadership to address the current administration's push to increase fuel efficiency and the use of alternative energy sources."