CEO departures up in December, Internet leads the way

By : |December 29, 2000 0

NEW YORK: The number of chief executives leaving office jumped 85 per cent in
December versus a year ago, continuing the torrid pace of departures in 2000,
said a report released Thursday by recruitment firm Challenger, Gray &
Christmas Inc.

In December, 113 CEOs vacated their posts – marking the fifth consecutive
month of more than 100 departures. Last year, 61 CEOs left in December.

More than half of the total 1,079 CEO changes this year have been announced
over the last five months, the report said.

Chief executives of Internet companies led December’s list, accounting for 16
per cent of total departures. CEO changes in the consumer goods industry came in
second, followed by the computer software and services, financial services and
industrial products industries.

"These sectors may continue to see high chief executive turnover in
light of what will most likely be categorized as a lackluster holiday shopping
season," said John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray &

One of the more recent casualties was Bill Larson, chairman and chief
executive of computer-security software maker Network Associates Inc. The
company, on Tuesday, warned of revenue shortfalls and said Larson would step
aside, along with two other top executives.

Also Tuesday, Magic Software Enterprises said its CEO, Jack Dunietz, was
leaving after the company announced fourth-quarter earnings and revenues would
fall below targets.

Financial services group ING Groep Inc. said David Robbins, chief executive
of ING Barings, resigned in connection with an announcement that ING would
review its investment banking operations.

Most of the 113 CEO departures in December were labeled resignations, 32 were
unspecified and 19 were retirements, the report said. The remaining
announcements said CEOs had "stepped down," been
"succeeded," taken a "new position within the company," or
simply "left."

(C) Reuters Limited 2000.

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