CHICAGO (3/15/13)--U.S. financial institution CEOs had the second-highest turnover rate out of 26 industries monitored in February, according to the monthly report on CEO turnover released Thursday by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
The 18 reported CEO turnovers in the financial industry were more than double that of the seven reported in February 2012. The financial industry departures--mostly at credit unions and banks--was the highest monthly total for the industry since Challenger began tracking in 2008.
"I don't know if we can read too much into the report since Challenger only began tracking this since 2008 and the number of departures (18) is relatively small, compared with the total number of bank and credit union CEOs (14,000)," Steve Rick, senior economist with the Credit Union National Association, told News Now.
"However, there could be two effects taking place here," he continued. "A demographic effect as the very large baby boom generation hits retirement, and we are seeing an exodus of elderly CEO baby boomers. Second, we normally see an increase in job departures as the economy improves and other more lucrative opportunities present themselves."
The health care sector led all others with 20 departures, nine of which came from hospitals and hospital systems.
Overall, the number of CEOs who left their posts decreased slightly in February, with 110 CEOs leaving. The February total was 6% higher than the same month last year, when 104 CEOs left their positions, and 3% lower than the 113 recorded in January.
So far this year, 223 CEOs changed positions, nearly unchanged from the 227 recorded during the same two-month period last year. There were 1,214 turnovers in 2012.
The departing CEOs this year are younger on average (56.6) than those departing last year (57.9) and have stayed in their positions for a shorter time--8.3 years versus 9.8.
Thirteen CEOs left their posts at government/non-profit entities. Retailers had nine CEO departures last month, including CEO changes at RadioShack, Toys 'R Us, Michael's Stores, Ulta and REI.
The circumstances of their departure varied. Most (32) resigned and 21 others retired. Another 19 CEOs left their post, but stepped down into other positions within the company, usually as a board chair or director. Year-to-date departures were led by resignations (62), retired (45), stepped down (44), obtained new position in another company (31), and interim period ended (21). Five left because of mergers or acquisitions.