The life of a CEO can turn out to be nasty and short.
We all aspire to a life at the very top, but only a few can teach us about the sacrifices and everything that’s put at risk, especially in the challenging corporate world that continuously evolves around us.
PwC’s Strategy& CEO Success study analyzed the harsh and competitive year that was 2018 for chief executives, showing that nearly 17.5% of the CEOs of the world’s largest 2,500 companies left their posts — representing the highest rate of departures of the PwC index that is produced every year.
CEO turnover in 2018 was high, even matching the overall rate of forced turnovers with recent trends, at 20%, but what has truly changed are the reasons of the executives’ departure. For example, for the first time in the PwC Strategy& CEO Success study, more CEOs were dismissed for ethical lapses* and more aggressive misconducts than for financial performance or board struggles, even with intervention by regulatory and law enforcement authorities including sexual harassment.
*(Defining dismissals for ethical lapses as the removal of the CEO as the result of a scandal or improper conduct by the CEO or other employees; examples include fraud, bribery, insider trading, environmental disasters, inflated resumes, and sexual indiscretions.)