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Hospital CEO Turnover Soars in January

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   March 01, 2023

Turnover rates hit a record high last month, almost reaching the previous high in August 2018 when 24 hospital CEOs exited their roles.

Hospitals experienced a high rate of turnover in January 2023, a month that typically experiences the highest turnover rate during the year.

In January, 23 hospital CEOs left their posts according to the latest Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. CEO Turnover Report, leading the turnover rates for all sectors tracked by the firm for that month.

This is the highest hospital CEO turnover rate since August 2018, when 24 hospital CEOs left their post during the month of January. Of the 112 CEO exits tracked in January, hospital CEO exits made up 21% of the total exits.

"January has the highest number of CEO exits on average than any other month, as companies assess their previous fiscal year and make plans for the future," Andrew Challenger, SVP of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., said in a statement.

Reasons for exits include CEOs stepping down to serve in other positions within the same company either as a board member or in another C-suite level role, leaving the organization altogether for a different role, or because their positions were terminated.

In December 2022, only six hospital CEOs made role changes, bringing the total amount of hospital CEO exits up to 103 for the year, a decline from the 112 exits made in 2021.

"Hospitals and Hospital Systems have undergone incredible challenges over the last three years as the pandemic raged, burned out healthcare workers, and pushed resources to the limits. Some of these leaders themselves are likely burned out as well, while others are moving to different hospitals to execute skills they've gained during those difficult times," Challenger said.

Behind the hospital sector, the government/nonprofit sector experienced 18 CEOs leave their posts. Additionally, the technology sector announced 17 CEO changes while the financial sector announced 16.

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

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