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UK – CEO turnover falls to 10% as internal candidates are promoted: Robert Half

13 June 2019

Turnover among CEOs is in decline as internal candidates rise to the top, according to research from Robert Half.

In the past year, CEO turnover was 10%, down from 14% in the previous year. As a result, the average tenure among FTSE 100 CEOs has risen to five years and six months, up from five years and two months in 2018. This trend presents a reverse of previous years, which saw average CEO tenure stagnant at five years and two months in 2018 and 2017, and falling from five years and three months in 2016.

Robert Half’s research found that this decline has led to the first rise in average tenure among FTSE 100 CEOs in three years.

“While workplaces are undoubtedly going through a period of substantial change and demanding new skill sets, it is encouraging that this isn’t resulting in knee-jerk changes of leadership,” Charlie Grubb, UK Managing Director, Robert Half Executive Search, said. “In times of change, continuity and consistency can be vital, and it is important for companies, stakeholders and shareholders to give CEOs the freedom to take a longer-term view of company strategy and results without fearing for their jobs.”

For the FTSE 100 companies that did go through a CEO change, in-company experience was highly valued with 70% of new CEOs resulting from internal promotions, bringing the total across the FTSE 100 to 46%, up from 40% last year.

Furthermore, 15% of FTSE 100 CEOs have spent their entire careers with the same company. This has been rising year-on-year since 2015 when it stood at 7%.

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