COVID-19

U.S. firms dealing with high CEO turnover

Mitchell Hartman Feb 13, 2020
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Executives are navigating new technologies, new competitors and fallout from the trade war as they scramble for talent in a tight labor market. pxhere
COVID-19

U.S. firms dealing with high CEO turnover

Mitchell Hartman Feb 13, 2020
Executives are navigating new technologies, new competitors and fallout from the trade war as they scramble for talent in a tight labor market. pxhere
HTML EMBED:
COPY

More CEOs are heading for the exits, according to a monthly report on large-, medium- and small-business leadership compiled by the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. It found 219 U.S. chief executives stepped down from their posts in January, up 37% from the month before, and up 40% from January of last year.

Why is there so much turnover in the C-suite?

“There’s a lot of new technologies, new competitors, and companies are having to retrench, change strategies, and bring in outside talent to help them combat those technologies,” said Andy Challenger with Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

He said when a CEO vacates the top slot — voluntarily or with a push — it’s often an outsider who replaces them.

Turnover is highest in nonprofits and government, where leaders face a volatile election year that could impact their funding and programs.

In every industry, however, CEOs face unexpected threats, like coronavirus.

Joe Galvin at executive advisory firm Vistage says CEOs he works with spent the last two years navigating the U.S.-China trade war. Now coronavirus has become a factor.

“In one case, their factories will be closed until mid-March,” he said. “That’s an emerging flash point.”

Galvin said CEOs face more mundane challenges, like how to hire talent when unemployment is so low, and how to increase sales when economic growth is so slow.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What’s going on with extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

The latest: President Donald Trump signed an executive action directing $400 extra a week in unemployment benefits. But will that aid actually reach people? It’s still unclear. Trump directed federal agencies to send $300 dollars in weekly aid, taken from the federal disaster relief fund, and called on states to provide an additional $100. But states’ budgets are stretched thin as it is.

What’s the latest on evictions?

For millions of Americans, things are looking grim. Unemployment is high, and pandemic eviction moratoriums have expired in states across the country. And as many people already know, eviction is something that can haunt a person’s life for years. For instance, getting evicted can make it hard to rent again. And that can lead to spiraling poverty.

Which retailers are requiring that people wear masks when shopping? And how are they enforcing those rules?

Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, CVS, Home Depot, Costco — they all have policies that say shoppers are required to wear a mask. When an employee confronts a customer who refuses, the interaction can spin out of control, so many of these retailers are telling their workers to not enforce these mandates. But, just having them will actually get more people to wear masks.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

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