CEO Turnover Jumps 60% As Retailers Seek Data-Driven Change Agents


Retail TouchPoints | August 10, 2016

The Retail TouchPoints article, “CEO Turnover Jumps 60% As Retailers Seek Data-Driven Change Agents,” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates' Bobbie Lenga. She shared her thoughts on the traits needed in today's new breed of retail CEOs. The article is excerpted below.​

Retail has been inundated with both immediate and pending CEO changes throughout 2016. Between January and June 2016, 23 chief executives have departed their posts, outpacing the 15 that either retired or stepped down during the same six-month span last year, according to a report from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

While Macy’s framed Terry Lundgren’s awaited stepdown as part of a succession plan that was already in place, the departure of Ron Sargent at Staples appeared to be more a response to the company’s growing weaknesses both online and in the store.


“Data has always been a factor for retailers, but more in a customer relationship or marketing perspective,” said Bobbie Lenga, Leader of the Global Retail Practice at executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. “Today, retailers have to have a strong grasp of tastes and preferences, but you have to know how to leverage trends that impact the business, then take actionable insights from a vast amount of data made available through business tools.”


“Amazon came in and changed the pace of everything,” Lenga said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Great CEOs need to keep up with that pace of change and understand where they can make a difference, particularly in how many initiatives a company can take at one time and where they’re going to get the best ROI with what they do.”

To read the full article, click here.

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CEO Turnover Jumps 60% As Retailers Seek Data-Driven Change Agents