CEO turnover at record high; successors following long serving CEOs struggling according to PwC’s Strategy& Global Study

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NEW YORK, May 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CEO turnover hit a record high of 17 percent in turbulent 2018 but there is a group of executives holding steady according to the released today by , PwC’s strategy consulting business. The study, which analysed CEO successions at the world’s largest 2,500 public companies over the past 19 years reports that while the median tenure of a CEO has been five years, 19 percent of all CEOs remain in position for 10 or more years, consistently, over the time period analysed.

Despite disruption, intense competition and eager investors, the median tenure within the group is 14 years with these long serving CEOs who also have better performance, and are less likely to be forced out than not long serving CEOs. By region, North American CEOs hold a significant margin in the probability of becoming a long term CEO at 30 percent, followed by Western Europe at 19 percent, Japan and the BRI countries (Brazil, Russia and India) at nine percent and China at seven percent.

2018 also showed a rise in the share of CEOs who were forced out of their positions for ethical lapses. In fact, more CEOs (39 percent) were forced out for ethical lapses rather than financial performance or board struggles, a first in the study’s history.  This number rose 50 percent as compared to 26 percent in 2017.

“Succeeding long-serving CEOs is clearly very challenging,” said , partner and leader of Strategy&’s Organization, Change and Leadership Practice in the Middle East. “Their successors typically both deliver lower returns to shareholders and are noticeably more likely to be dismissed than the legend they succeeded as well as their peers.”

CEO turnover rose notably in every region in 2018 except China, and included a large increase in Western Europe. Turnover was highest in “other mature” economies (such as Australia, Chile, and Poland), at 21.9 percent, and nearly as high in Brazil, Russia, and India (21.6 percent). The next-highest turnover numbers were in Western Europe (19.8 percent), and the lowest were in North America (14.7 percent).

Among industries, turnover was highest in communication services companies (24.5 percent), followed by materials (22.3 percent) and energy (19.7 percent). Healthcare saw the lowest rate of CEO turnover in 2018, at 11.6 percent

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Contact:Rachel HambrickGlobal CommunicationsT: +1 213 479 4129

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Globe Newswire: 05:01 GMT Wednesday 15th May 2019

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