CFO Heads Continuing Rolling in July

July 31, 2002 ( - The nation's laser-like focus on corporate accounting continues to leave blood on the floor as chief financial officers (CFO) get shown the door about every 18 months.

According to the latest survey by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, CFOs lasted 1.44 years in July while chief executive officers (CEO) got to stay around for 5.25 years.

Not only are CFOs getting sacked with lightning speed these days, the number of departures among high executives is gradually evening out between CEOs and CFOs. According to Challenger, July brought 50 CEO changes – only eight more than the 42 CFO departures. Researchers said that was the smallest gap so far this year

Also, the number of chief executives being fired is slowing and the number of chief financial officers let go is growing, according to Challenger. July’s CEO departures were 21% fewer than the 63 recorded in June.  A year earlier, there were 49 CEO swaps.

CFO departures increased 16 % in July to 42, up from 36 in the previous month.  The July figure was 8% higher than the same month a year ago when 39 CFOs left their offices.

Through July, 428 CEOs have departed while 238 CFO changes have been counted.

Technology, financial and consumer goods firms saw the highest CFO turnover in July, each recording six departures.
A Challenger spokeswoman said the CEO and CFO statistics are derived from public announcements in sources such as the news media.