CEO Departures — Every 5 Days
We just released our new findings on Global 500 CEO Departures. Just as it was released this week, I see the news that Motorola’s CEO Ed Zander stepped down. As I have noted many times, being CEO today is a treacherous job. The shelf life is short and reputations quickly tarnished. Here are some of the key findings.
- Over 10 percent of the world’s largest companies lost their CEOs in the first three quarters of 2007. This departure rate amounts to a CEO departure among the world’s largest-revenue producing companies nearly every 5 days.
|Global CEO Turnover by Region: First Three Quarters 2006 vs. 2007|
|Region||Total (#)||Percent (%)||Total (#)||Percent (%)|
2007 saw more chief executives exit during the first quarter than the following two quarters (26 vs. 15 vs. 16, respectively) and when compared to the first quarter of 2006 (26 vs. 16, respectively).
Global CEO Turnover by Quarter: First Three Quarters 2006 vs. 2007
Overall, 28 percent of chief executives who left office in the first three quarters of 2007 exited involuntarily. European CEOs were more likely to be pressured to leave their jobs than their regional counterparts. While only two European CEOs were forced out of office by the end of the third quarter in 2006, nine European CEOs exited involuntarily during the same time period in 2007 – a 350 percent increase.
|Ousted Global CEOs By Region: First Three Quarters 2006 vs. 2007|
|Total (#)||Percent (%)||Total (#)||Percent (%)|
For the first three quarters of 2006 and 2007, insider executives continued to outnumber outsider executives when new CEOs were selected to lead the world’s largest companies. Interestingly, 2007 had an even greater proportion of insider CEO successions than seen in 2006 (70 vs. 64 percent, respectively).