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Mass exodus of CEOs: Nearly 1500 this year

Mass exodus of CEOs: Nearly 1500 this year
Mass exodus of CEOs: Nearly 1500 this year

The number of CEOs in America who left their posts in the last month has more than doubled. This time last year, 74 top bosses left their hot seat. But this year, that number grew to 164.

There is a shakeup in the corporate world, with 1,425 CEOs handing over the reins to someone else in the last year. That’s an increase of up to 47% compared to 2022.

According to Challenger Gray, it’s the highest turnover in over twenty years since it started tracking its performance in 2002.

The highest number of top executives left their companies in the first nine months of 2023. “In the third quarter (of this year), 518 CEOs left their posts. The most in a quarter on record. It is up 166%,” reads the report. 

Economic changes

“Companies are revving up for economic changes in the coming months. With the rise of labor costs and interest rates, companies are looking to new leaders,” says workplace expert Andrew Challenger. 

The reasons for the shake-ups are not all due to economic changes. According to the report, 22% of the exits can be attributed to retirement. Forty-five CEOs found new positions within their companies. Most CEOs are heading up another division or location within the umbrella company.

A small fraction had to leave their companies due to professional misconduct. 

Female CEOs on the rise

The number of women CEOs continues to increase steadily throughout the year. It’s higher than the same period in 2022. Contrary to this, the number of female top leaders leaving companies also increases. 

In October, nearly half of the women who took on a CEO role were in government or non-profit organizations. Almost 10% became executive heads of healthcare companies and 7% in hospitals. 

CEOs leaving specific sectors

Top executives are mostly unhappy at government and non-profit organizations. This sector has seen a total of 53 exits this year. That’s an increase of 86%. Technology saw 141 top posts empty this year. It’s the second-highest industry for CEO turnover in 2023.

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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