More CEOs Being Forced Out

May 12, 2003 ( - Chief executives were being forced out of their positions in higher numbers in 2002 when compared to other years.

There were 253 changes in chief executive, up from 231 in 2001.   Of these, 39% were pushed out for performance-related reasons, up from 25% in the previous year – the highest level in the five years of the Booz Allen Hamilton study, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Among the most high-profile chief executive ousters:

  • Bernard Ebbers – WorldCom Inc.
  • Jean-Marie Messier – Vivendi Universal SA
  • Ron Sommer – Deutsche Telekom AG
  • Nobuya Minami – Tokyo Electric Power Co.
  • Philippe Paillert – Singapore’s DBS Group Holdings
  • Joseph Nacchio – Qwest Communications International Inc.

The study of 2,500 large global companies reveals the percentage of forced departures in the US hit a new high of 40%, double the 20% of 2001, while in Europe, 36% of all CEOs who left were forced out, down from 43% for 2001.   The sharpest increase in forced ousters was reported in Japan, where 35% of all CEOs who left last year were forced out. During 2001, forced departures accounted for just 7.3% of all CEO turnover there.