Healthcare CEO turnover higher than other industries

2012 is shaping up to be the "musical chairs" year, full of multiple CEO turnovers, particularly in healthcare, according to The Fiscal Times. For example, Prime Healthcare Services last week announced its CEO and president resigned.

The number of CEOs across industries who left their posts in January jumped 48 percent month-over-month, rising to 123, the highest level since May 2010, according to this month's data from outplacement service firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.  Fifty-one percent resigned or stepped down, 26 percent retired and 9 percent left to take other jobs, according to the article.

In healthcare, specifically, 25 CEOs last month jumped ship, retired or were forced out, compared to only nine year-over-year.

If the January data is any indication of turnover and mimics last year's numbers, healthcare could once again see the highest CEO turnover rates out of all sectors. Healthcare organizations saw the heaviest CEO turnover among all industries in 2011, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas; 187 CEOs left their posts at an average of 16 per month.

The cause of the recent executive job changes could be the challenges, not to mention the stress, of new government regulations. Hospital executives also are moving into contract consulting gigs as a result.

"We're seeing a growing number of executives kind of throw up their arms and say, 'I've gone through major changes in health care, and I'm not really in a position where I want to go through this major change again,'" Mark Madden, senior vice president of executive search of recruiting firm B.E. Smith, told The Fiscal Times.

The recent data echoes the sentiments of Steven Valentine, president of the consulting firm Camden Group, who noted that the industry will see more hospital CEO burnout this year.

"There has never been a time with such an unsettled future; it is difficult to know where we will be in another year," he said in a Hospitals & Health Networks Daily article last month.

For more information:
- read the Fiscal Times article
- check out the Challenger, Gray & Christmas press release (.pdf)

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