Global CEO Turnover Index

We share the latest CEO turnover data across listed companies globally. Each quarter, you’ll find the proportion of CEO departures and appointments globally, as well as trends on CEO appointments by gender, tenure, and whether CEOs are internal or external hires.
Global CEO turnover - Russell Reynolds Associate

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Global CEO Turnover Index Q2 2024: Key Trends

 

01

CEO turnover dropped in the second quarter of 2024.

In Q2 2024, just 51 CEOs globally left their roles, the lowest number of Q2 departures since the index began in 2018.

 

In what many have coined the ‘ultimate election year’, the leadership of the world's largest organizations have been remarkably stable, as boards look for continuity amid political disruption.

 

 

02

The number of outgoing CEOs that have left as part of a planned CEO succession process is increasing.

Planned CEO successions accounted for 23% of all outgoing CEOs in Q2 2024. This is more than twice the six-year average of 11%.

 

We are starting to see the benefits of a long-term cultural shift towards succession planning. But, it’s critical that boards not only focus on the CEO, but also on developing internal talent across the organization for a smooth transition. This is particularly important given that 78% of incoming CEOs were internal promotions in Q2 2024.

 

 

03

Women remain vastly underrepresented in the CEO role.

Of the 51 CEOs appointed in Q2 2024, only five were women. At the present rate of change, it’s estimated to take 78 years to achieve global gender parity.

 

More positively, the percentage of women holding CEO positions globally grew by 7.7% from Q1 2018 to Q2 2024, with all but one index (Nifty 50) seeing net increases in women leaders.

 

To achieve true gender balance at the top, we need to create systemic changes to how succession is planned, managed, and executed. The scope of CEO candidacy needs to be widened and organizations need to take the preparation of women for CEO roles far more seriously—investing more in their women leaders, increasing pipelines, and addressing bias.

What is CEO turnover?

CEO turnover refers to the rate at which CEOs depart and are hired from their roles. It can be a helpful indicator of wider trends, including economic health and businesses’ risk appetites.

How has CEO turnover changed for public companies?

CEO turnover has increased since 2018 for the companies listed on the 12 indices tracked in the CEO Turnover Index, hitting a five-year high in 2022, when 189 CEOs were appointed globally. CEO turnover remained high in 2023, with 180 CEO appointments globally.

Why is CEO turnover so high for public firms globally?

High CEO turnover is reflective of companies’ growing risk appetites and search for leaders who can navigate increasing complexity in the macro business environment, including tech transformation, sustainability, geopolitical crises, and social issues.

How many CEOs were appointed globally in 2023 at public companies?

There were 180 CEO appointments globally in 2023 for the companies listed on the 12 indices tracked in the CEO Turnover Index. This included:

  • 45 CEO appointments in the S&P 500.
  • 24 CEO appointments in ASX 200.
  • 16 CEO appointments in the FTSE 100.

How many CEOs of public companies stepped down in 2023?

There were 178 CEO departures globally in 2023 for the companies listed on the 12 indices tracked in the CEO Turnover Index. This included:

  • 48 CEO departures in the S&P 500.
  • 20 CEO departures in ASX 200.
  • 13 CEO departures in the FTSE 100.

What is the proportion of women CEO appointments at public firms in 2023?

Women remain largely underrepresented in the CEO role across the world as per the CEO Turnover Index. In 2023, women accounted for 22 of CEO appointments globally (12% of all appointments), compared to 156 for men. However, there are regional nuances. In 2023:

  • 6 women CEOs were appointed in the S&P 500, representing 13% of CEO appointments.
  • 6 women CEOs were appointed in the ASX 200, representing 25% of CEO appointments.
  • 3 women CEOs were appointed in the FTSE 100, representing 19% of CEO appointments.

What proportion of new CEOs of public companies were first-time CEOs?

In 2023, 88% of 180 CEO appointments were first-time CEOs for the companies listed on the 12 indices tracked in the CEO Turnover Index. They had never held a CEO role at a public-listed company.

What’s the average tenure of CEOs at publicly listed companies?

In 2023, the average tenure of CEOs was 8.1 years. However, there are some interesting nuances according to the CEO Turnover Index.

Internal vs. external hires. Internal CEO hires had longer tenures than external CEO hires. On average, internal CEOs’ tenures were 1.4 years longer than external CEO hires.

Men vs. women. Women CEO tenures had shorter than men’s. On average, women lasted 5.0 years in the CEO role globally, compared to 8.0 years for men. There is significant variation across the globe. Only in the NSE Nifty 50 do women CEOs stay in the role longer than men.

  • CAC 40: -7.7 years
  • S&P 500: -3.9 years
  • NSE Nifty 50: +1.5 years
  • FTSE 100: -1.0 years

First-time CEOs vs. seasoned CEOs. First-time public company CEOs’ tenures were 2.1-years longer than those who had previous CEO experience.

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Global CFO Turnover Index

Find out how many listed company Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are leaving and starting their posts each quarter globally.