US-based firms announced 58 CEO changes in July, down 45.0% from June's 106 exits; 832 CEOs have left their posts year-to-date, up 8.0% from the same period year ago: Challenger, Gray & Christmas

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August 11, 2022 (press release) –

The number of CEO changes at U.S. companies plunged to 58 in July, down 45% from the 106 CEO exits recorded in June. It is lowest monthly total since April 2020, when the uncertainty and economic turmoil caused by the pandemic led to 48 CEO exits in that month, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Challenger Analysis
“The economy is facing uncertainty right now, but it’s much more positive than in early 2020. Inflation fell in July, gas prices are falling steadily, the job market remains tight, and supply chain issues have mostly cleared up. Consumers lack confidence at the moment and interest rates are rising to battle inflation, which might slow business borrowing and some growth plans,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

So far this year, 832 CEOs have left their posts, the highest January-July total since 2019, when 850 CEOs left their posts in the first seven months of the year. It is up 8% from the 770 CEO exits announced through July last year.

Industries with the Most Leadership Change
Government/Non-Profit entities lead all industries in CEO turnover with 187 so far this year, with 13 in July. Technology companies announced 7 CEO exits last month and 87 for the year. Hospitals saw 9 CEO exits last month and 71 so far this year, up 20% from the 59 CEO exits announced in the same period last year.

“Health Care, and Hospitals specifically, are under a tremendous strain emerging from the pandemic. Staffing shortages have created concerns about care, and varying legislation on abortion will impact hospital systems differently depending on the states in which they have hospitals, an incredible challenge,” said Challenger.

Reasons Why CEOs Left
Fourteen CEOs retired in July for a total of 199. Another 12 CEOs stepped down into other high-level roles within the organization for a total of 211. These CEOs usually serve as the companies Chair or advisor to the new CEO. Fifty-eight CEOs have left for new opportunities this year, with 5 in July.

Women in the C-Suite
The rate of women taking over the incoming CEO role increased slightly to 27% from 26% in June, and up slightly from the 24% of incoming women who made up new CEOs through the same period in 2021.

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