2019 Had the Most CEO Departures on Record With More Than 1,600

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  • A total of 1,640 CEOs left their posts in 2019, the highest year on record since Challenger, Gray, & Christmas began tracking in 2002.
  • Last year topped 2008, when the U.S. was embroiled in the financial crisis.
  • Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg was fired in December in the wake of the 737 Max crisis.
  • “The number of chief executives who announced their departures in 2019 was staggering,” said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger in a press release.

It’s official — 2019 was the year of CEO exits.

Thanks to 160 chiefs leaving their posts in December, 2019 totaled 1,640 departures by the heads of U.S. businesses, higher than the 1,484 exits in 2008 when the country was embroiled in the financial crisis, according to Challenger, Gray, & Christmas.  The firm started tracking CEO departures in 2002.


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