Global CEO Turnover Index

Find out how many listed company CEOs are leaving and starting their posts each quarter. In our index, we also share how many of them are men versus women, whether they were appointed externally or internally, and if they were already experienced CEOs.
Global CEO turnover - Russell Reynolds Associate Q3

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CEO turnover data from before 2023 is based on the constituents of each index as of March 2023, so doesn’t account for companies that moved on and off the indices before then. However, we’re confident all data is representative.

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Long-term trends in global CEO turnover

 

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed trends in CEO turnover. As it brought new risks to organizations throughout 2020, the number of CEO departures fell each quarter. This trend continued alongside the pandemic in 2021, with the global annual turnover rate falling from 10% in 2020 to 8.9% in 2021.

 

In 2022, as countries moved past the pandemic, organizations seemed to regain their risk appetite, and global CEO turnover reached a five-year high of 11.2%.

 

In 2023, global CEO turnover remained high, with 178 CEOs leaving their positions, just 19 less than in 2022.

 

 

Average CEO tenure is significantly longer for men

 

Our research shows that since we began tracking the data in 2018, women's CEO tenures are much shorter than men’s. Women on average last 5.0 years in the CEO role, compared with 8.0 years for men. While this is a significant gap, there’s considerable variation across the globe.

 

Only in the NSE Nifty 50 do women CEOs stay in the role longer than men.

 

 

CAC 40
-7.7-year difference

S&P 500
-3.9-year difference

FTSE 100
-1.0-year difference

NSE Nifty 50
+1.5-year difference

Highlights from the 2023 Global CEO Turnover Index

 

Women remain largely underrepresented in the CEO role

 

  • • Although more women are becoming CEOs than ever before—with 22 new appointments in 2023, only 12% of new CEOs appointed were women.

  • • This picture varies around the world. In 2023: 
    • • 13% of new CEOs appointed in the S&P 500 were women.
    • • 25% of new CEOs appointed in the ASX 200 were women.
    • • 19% of new CEOs appointed in the FTSE 100 were women.

 

CEOs who are internally appointed have a longer tenure

 

  • • In 2023, 77% of new CEOs were internal appointments, just 1% higher than the previous year.

  • • On average, CEOs who were internally appointed have a 1.4-year longer tenure than their external counterparts.

 

First-time public company CEOs have a longer tenure than experienced CEOs

 

  • • 88% of newly appointed CEOs are ‘first-timers’; having never previously held a role as CEO of a public-listed company.

  • • 94% of internally appointed CEOs are first-timers. The number is significantly lower (72%) for first-time CEOs who are externally appointed.

  • • Newly appointed women CEOs are 5% more likely to be first-timers than newly appointed CEOs who are men.

  • • First-time public company CEOs have a 2.1-year longer tenure on average than those who are experienced. 

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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.