Turnover among the nation’s top executives fell slightly in February as 104 chief executive officers announced their departures, down 15 percent from 123 in January, according to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
While February departures declined compared to the previous month, they were up 13 percent from the same month a year ago, when 92 CEO exits were recorded. Chief executive officer departures are now up 17 percent compared to a year ago, with a total of 227 departures tracked through the first two months of the year – compared to187 at the same point in 2011.
The health care sector experienced the highest CEO turnover in February with 19 departures, which brings the year-to-date total for the sector to 44.
“It is difficult to pinpoint the reason for the high number of CEO departures in health care, which saw the highest number of departures last year and is taking an early lead in 2012,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of CG&C.
Following health care, the government and nonprofit sector saw 16 CEO changes in February, bringing the 2012 total to 27. Meanwhile, 11 CEOs left their posts in the third-ranked computer sector in February, joining the 10 who announced their departures in January.
Once again, resignations accounted for the largest number of CEO departures during the month, with 33. That brings the year-to-date total to 72 resignations. Retirement follows, accounting for 52 departures this year, including 20 in February.