CEOs are leaving their jobs at younger ages

Across all industries, the average age of CEOs who left their roles in the first nine months of the year is four years younger than the year prior, according to an Oct. 26 Challenger, Gray & Christmas report.

The average age of 56 for the first nine months of 2022 is down from the 2021 average age of 60. This year is shaping up to be the youngest batch of exiting CEOs since global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger began tracking ages in 2010, with the exception of 2020. 

Across all industries, 969 CEOs have left their roles in the first nine months of the year, down 2 percent from the 991 who left their posts through the same time last year. The 82 hospital CEO changes recorded through September is up about 4 percent compared to the 79 recorded by the same point in 2021. 

"The last year has seen a complete revamping of the labor market," said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "Many workers are choosing not to re-enter for a multitude of reasons, chief among them being lifestyle changes and early retirements. Those who can, are in many cases deciding they want to pursue their own interests instead of a traditional job. That's certainly a possibility as we see younger CEOs leaving their posts."

The average tenure of exiting CEOs has also fallen so far in 2022, down to 9.96 years on average from the 10.13 years on average recorded in 2021. The last time Challenger tracked tenure this low was in 2014, when CEOs averaged 9.83 years.


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