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2020 Q1 CEO Transitions

Spencer Stuart tracks CEO transitions among S&P 500 companies on a quarterly and annual basis. For the purposes of this analysis, a CEO transition is defined as the replacement of an outgoing CEO with a permanent CEO. The data set includes: names of incoming and outgoing CEOs; the reason for the departure of the former CEO, as reported by the company; the estimated ages of both the outgoing and incoming CEOs; and whether the new CEO was promoted from within or hired externally. During the first quarter of 2020, 23 S&P 500 companies reported the appointment of a new CEO.

  • The first quarter of 2020 saw the highest number of CEO transitions since we started tracking on a quarterly basis in 2015.
  • Eighteen of the 23 outgoing CEOs retired or stepped down and five resigned under pressure.
  • Sixteen of the new CEOs were promoted from within their companies, including 10 who were elevated as part of a planned succession.
  • Four of the incoming CEOs are women. One of the departing CEOs is a woman.
  • The average age of the new CEOs is 55, and the average age of the departing CEOs is 61.
  • Only one of the new CEOs was also named chair of the board upon appointment.