Why CEOs Are Being Replaced at Record Rates

Executives in the U.S. are coming off second best in confronting the new digital world, according to a recent article in The Financial Post.

This year, through the third quarter, 43 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were working under new CEOs. That suggests 2013 will surpass the 49 of 2011, the biggest for turnover since 2008.

Companies are bigger, more global and more complicated.  Competition is accelerating in the BRIC countries.  CEOs are required to master a broader range of skills than in the past, when top executives might have climbed the ranks with just one discipline.

Executives must also adapt to quicker technological change, including shifts brought on by widening use of mobile devices.

“Companies in every industry are dealing with a new digital world where sales happen differently, the consumer is reached differently and products have to be made and moved around the world in a new way,” said Bob Benson, who heads RL Benson & Associates, a New Canaan, Connecticut-based consultant to search firms.  “CEOs who don’t have a digital orientation are worried. We’re in a new world.”

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