Q3 CEO Departures Outpacing 2001 Rate

September 30, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The CEO drain continued during the third quarter at a slightly faster pace than last year, according to an outplacement firm.

According to a regular quarterly report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, United States companies showed 181 chief executive officers (CEO) the door in the third quarter, 8% more than in the same quarter a year ago, according to an outplacement firm.

The latest quarterly results follow a second quarter during which Challenger reported 193 CEOs headed for the exits — 9% higher than the first quarter. See  Challenger Says CEO Exits Pick up in Q2 .

The report also indicated that the third quarter showing outpaced the 167 CEOs let go in the same quarter last year. Also, so far in 2002, 562 chief executive departures have been tracked. That’s 22% fewer than the 722 departures reported through September 2001, according to Challenger.

In September, Challenger found 64 CEO departures, down slightly from the 70 chief executive departures during August, according to the Challenger report.

More Execs Not Giving Reason for Departure

Evidence that corporate governance issues may be taking a toll on the top corporate office is found in the growing number of CEOs resigning or leaving for unspecified reasons, according to CEO John Challenger.

Of September¹s 64 departures, 42 or 66% were resignations for unspecified reasons. Overall, the third quarter saw 127 of these departures, up from 101 in the third quarter last year.

Further indication that those resigning or leaving without a reason may be doing so because of internal or external influence comes from the fact these CEOs have not enjoyed very long average tenures.

 While the overall average tenure for CEOs exiting in September was 9.2 years, the average tenure among those resigning or leaving for unspecified reasons was 7.5 years, Challenger said.