Rise in CEO departures in 2021, finds research

It's not just the rank and file, leaders are getting in on the ‘Great Resignation’ too, according to new research

by Peter Crush

Much has been written about the 'Great Resignation', where workers are leaving their jobs in record numbers, but it turns out their leaders are not far behind.

Research by recruiting firm Heidrick & Struggles, found CEO turnover spiked in the first half of 2021 - there were 103 CEO appointments among the 1,095 companies it studied across 24 regions (including China, the US and some European countries). There were just 49 changes at the top in the six months prior to that. 

Why all the exits?

According to Jeff Sanders, co-managing partner of Heidrick's global CEO and board practice, the increase in the number of CEOs quitting reflects the leadership challenges being posed by the pandemic.

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