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Hospital CEO Exits Continued to Climb in May 2023

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   June 26, 2023

Hospitals saw a 70% increase in hospital CEOs making role changes year over year.

The hospital sector was the third highest sector to experience CEO turnover last month, according to a new report from Challenger, Gray, & Christmas Inc.

Following large amounts of CEO exits in the government and nonprofit sector (58) and technology sector (21), the hospital sector saw 18 CEOs make role changes in May.

"Hospital systems are struggling in a number of areas post-pandemic. Talent shortages, retention, and wages for staff are an issue, while cost of care is rising," Andrew Challenger, SVP of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. said in a statement. "Many systems are struggling to operate, and new leadership is needed to attempt to turn things around."

So far this year through the end of May, 80 hospital CEOs exited their roles, a 70% increase from the 47 hospital CEOs who made exits through May 2022.

Monthly exits in 2023 so far are as follows:

224 CEOs made exits across all sectors in May, hitting the highest total of exits for a single month on record since the firm started tracking CEO exits in 2002.

This is a 52% increase from the 147 tracked exits in April 2023 and a 49% increase from the 150 CEO exits that were tracked in May 2022.

"It is certainly significant that so many CEOs are leaving, especially since the last time we saw numbers this high was just prior to Covid-19 lockdowns," Challenger said. "Certainly, companies are dealing with some uncertainty heading into the second half of the year surrounding recession concerns, disruptive technology, and high interest rates."

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., 789 CEOs left their roles across all sectors between January and May 2023, an increase of 18% from the 668 CEOs who made exits during the same time period in 2022.

Melanie Blackman is a contributing editor for strategy, marketing, and human resources at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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