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2020 Q3 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 third quarter of 2020, nine S&P 500 companies reported the appointment of a new CEO.

  • Eight of the nine companies had a departing CEO. One company (Netflix) appointed a new CEO into a co-CEO model with the sitting founder/CEO.
  • Seven of the eight outgoing CEOs retired or stepped down and one resigned under pressure.
  • Six of the new CEOs were promoted from within their companies, including five who were elevated as part of a planned succession.
  • One of the incoming CEOs is a woman. None of the departing CEOs are women.
  • None of the CEOs were named chair of the board upon appointment.
  • The average age of the new CEOs is 55, and the average age of the departing CEOs is 58.