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Expand chart
Data: Challenger, Gray & Christmas; Note: Data shows announcements of departures among public and private companies with 10 or more employees that have been in business for at least two years; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Companies saw a great deal of CEO transition in 2019 — the highest rate of turnover annually through November since staffing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas began tracking the data in 2002.

Why it matters: It's a record pace of change for corporate America, with high-profile CEOs exiting because of sagging sales (think Under Armour’s Kevin Plank) or scrutiny over executive behavior (think ex-WeWork CEO Adam Neumann or Overstock's Patrick Byrne).

  • The #MeToo movement has prompted companies to take quicker action for inappropriate conduct, including consensual relationships with subordinate employees. One example: ex-McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook.

Details: Behind charities and nonprofits, the technology sector saw the highest most turnover, with 200 CEO departures (up from 138 last year).

By the numbers: Zeroing in on just publicly traded companies, the number of departures is still high: 284 CEOs have departed — the most since 2011.

  • Just because they've left, it doesn't mean they're out of the company entirely: 527 CEOs who stepped down from publicly traded firms or private companies assumed other roles, such as chair of the board.

Bonus stat: More companies hired CEO replacements from outside of the firm. It's a sign that corporations are seeking fresh perspectives.

  • Of those that immediately announced replacements, a 718 new CEOs took over from other companies, while 545 came from within the firm.
  • This is the first year external replacements passed internal takeovers since 2013, according to Challenger. But even then, the spread between how many came from inside vs. outside wasn't as wide.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Woman who allegedly stole laptop from Pelosi's office to sell to Russia is arrested

Photo: FBI

A woman accused of breaching the Capitol and planning to sell to Russia a laptop or hard drive she allegedly stole from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office was arrested in Pennsylvania's Middle District Monday, the Department of Justice said.

Driving the news: Riley June Williams, 22, is charged with illegally entering the Capitol as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct. She has not been charged over the laptop allegation and the case remains under investigation, per the DOJ.

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID-related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.