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Report: CEO Turnover, Ethical Lapses On The Rise

Last year was the worst year for corporate turnover in 20 years

Last year was the worst year for corporate turnover in roughly two decades—and the worst in a decade for forced exits. That’s according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Strategy& CEO Success study, which found that 17.5 percent of companies around the world, and 14.7 percent in the U.S. and Canada, saw CEO turnover in 2018. The former number is the highest in the report’s 19-year history; the latter is the highest in North America since 2008. Leaders were forced out of their roles at a rate of 3.6  percent globally and 2.9 percent in the U.S. and Canada—both the highest rates reported since 2008.

But the real story, as PwC explains on its Strategy + Business site, is why the departures happened last year.

“The overall rate of forced turnovers was in line with recent trends, at 20 percent. But the reasons that CEOs were fired in 2018 were different,” the story states. “For the first time in the study’s history, more CEOs were dismissed for ethical lapses than for financial performance or board struggles.”

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