New York: For most workers, the so-called Great Resignation is over. For CEOs, it’s just ramping up.
More than 1,400 chief executives have left their positions so far this year through September, according to a report by executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That’s up almost 50 per cent from the same period last year and the highest on record over that period since the firm began tracking in 2002.
Much has been written about how burnout surged during the pandemic as workers faced a series of stressors and uncertainties while navigating the global health crisis. Those feelings of exhaustion may now be catching up to executives, even as the overall quit rate in the US drifts back towards its pre-pandemic normal.
The government and nonprofit sector topped the list for CEO turnover, with more than 350 leaving their posts this year, up more than 85 per cent over the same period last year. The technology sector saw the second-highest churn rate, with more than 140 CEOs abandoning the boardroom, up almost 50 per cent from last year.
Challenger attributes much of the churn to an economy in flux. “Companies are revving up for economic changes in the coming months. With the rise of labor costs and interest rates, companies are looking to new leaders,” Andrew Challenger, a senior vice president at the firm, said in the report.
While the overall US workforce is shrinking as more baby boomers reach retirement age, that’s not the only reason behind the exodus, according to the report.
About 22 %of all CEO exits were retirements, down slightly from the 24 per cent who retired last year.
While there was no reason given for almost a third of CEO departures, another 17 per cent reportedly stepped down into other C-suite, board or advisory roles. Other reasons provided to Challenger include an interim period coming to an end or leaders choosing to pursue fresh opportunities.