Dec 18, 2019

CEOs are leaving at a record pace

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

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Four police officers were struck by gunfire while standing near a line in St Louis on Monday after a peaceful demonstration, Police Chief John Hayden said early Tuesday. They were all taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He said a small group of people had thrown rocks and fireworks at police officers.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,273,402 — Total deaths: 375,683 — Total recoveries — 2,697,873Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,811,277 — Total deaths: 105,147 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

St. John's clergy: Trump used church as prop, Bible as symbol of division

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Clergy of the historic St. John's Episcopal Church expressed furor and confusion over President Trump's visit on Monday, which he claimed was to honor the establishment after George Floyd protestors sparked a small fire on the property Sunday night.

The big picture: Park rangers and military police deployed tear gas and physical force to disperse peaceful protestors from Lafayette Park, which surrounds the White House, so Trump could walk to "pay respects" to the church — and a St. John's rector on the scene revealed in a Facebook post that she was left "coughing" from the tear gas.