Generational Shift: Succession of Older CEOs Slows

Nov 2 2016

This article was written by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media and originally posted on HuntScanlon.com on October 28, 2016. 

The rate of succession of older CEOs of large U.S. public companies slowed significantly this past year, bringing to a halt a generational shift in business leadership that had been observed since the financial crisis, according to a new report by The Conference Board.

The report, ‘CEO Succession Practices:  2016,’ annually documents and analyzes succession events of chief executives of S&P 500 companies.  In 2015, there were 56 cases of S&P companies that underwent a CEO turnover.

Prior iterations of the study have shown an acceleration of the succession rate of CEOs aged 64 or older following the Great Recession of 2008.  In the 2009 to 2014 period, in particular their average turnover rate was 25.5 percent, compared to 8.1 percent for younger CEOs.  However, in 2015, older CEOs departed at a rate of 15.1 percent, which is much more aligned with the average number for the 2001 to 2008 period.

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