A record number of CEOs stepped down in January

Valerie Bolden-Barrett | February 08, 2019

A record number of CEOs stepped down in January
The heads of U.S.-based companies left their posts in record numbers last month, according to a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. In January, 157 CEOs stepped down, a roughly 22% increase over December's 129 CEO departures and a 19% increase over the 132 company chiefs that left their posts in January 2018. Challenger attributed many of the exits to companies looking for new leadership in a "strong, but uncertain" economy. Most CEOs stepped down to take other positions in their companies, usually chairperson or other C-Suite member, said Challenger. Others retired or found new positions elsewhere. Scandal forced out one CEO, professional misconduct allegations drove away another and a third left because of an internal investigation. Industries with the greatest number of CEO departures in January were in the government/nonprofit sector (29), followed by healthcare/products (17), financial and services (13 each) and pharmaceutical and technology (10 each). Cannabis companies reported losing two CEOs.

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