NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - May 20, 2014) - CEO turnover at the world's 2,500 largest public companies occurred with the highest frequency last year in Brazil, Russia, and India, according to the newly released 2013 Chief Executive Study from Strategy&, a member of the PwC network of firms.

21.1% of companies in those countries experienced a change in leadership last year, compared with the global CEO turnover rate of 14.4%. The CEO turnover rate in the U.S. and Canada was 13.2%, 12.9% in Western Europe, 15% in Japan, and 16.9% in China.

Viewed by industry, global CEO turnover was highest in telecommunications services (22.1%) and consumer staples (16.9%) and lowest in energy (11.4%).

Those are among the findings of Strategy&'s (formerly Booz & Company) 14th annual Chief Executive Study, which examines CEO turnover at the world's 2,500 largest public companies. The current study looks at women CEOs over the past 10 years as well as overall succession trends with a focus on 2013's incoming class of CEOs.

"The telecommunications industry is going through tremendous change: the basis for competition is evolving from infrastructure and networks to content offerings, product marketing, customer service, and pricing. High turnover in the industry is part of the effort to adapt more quickly to the new environment," said study co-author and Strategy& Senior Partner Gary L. Neilson.

Among the other insights from the 2013 Chief Executive Study:

  • It's the third year in a row that Brazil, Russia and India -- and the telecommunications industry -- have had the highest CEO turnover rates.
  • Overall, the majority -- 70% -- of worldwide big-company CEO turnovers in 2013 were planned events, as opposed to forced turnovers or the result of mergers.
  • More than three-quarters (76%) of incoming CEOs were "insiders" who already worked at the company before being appointed to the top office. Notably, in Japan, 97% of incoming CEOs were insiders.
  • Only 35% of incoming CEOs in 2013 had experience working in a region other than where the company is headquartered. (This is down from 45% in 2012.)
  • Companies with forced, as opposed to planned, CEO turnovers more often appoint CEOs with joint CEO/Chairman titles (14.3% for forced turnovers and 7.9% for planned turnovers).
  • Companies with the weakest performance tend to have more forced CEO turnovers and more often hire "outsider" CEOs.

"When a CEO is forced out, appointing a new CEO is a time-sensitive decision. Companies that do not have effective succession practices in place more often have to rely on outsiders to fill the position quickly. Another reason for hiring outsiders is that these companies may also be looking for new ideas," said study co-author and Strategy& Senior Partner Per-Ola Karlsson.

To view the full report summary, visit

To arrange an interview with one of the report's authors, please contact Frank Lentini, Sommerfield Communications, 212-255-8386 or Anna Moreno, Strategy&, 212-551-6110.

About the 2013 Chief Executive Study

For 14 years, Strategy& has examined CEO turnover and the incoming class of CEOs at the world's largest 2,500 public companies, because determining what happens at critical decision points can help us understand what companies are looking for in their CEO and how the role is changing. Along with overall succession trends, this year's study looks at 2013's incoming class of CEOs, and also focuses on women CEOs over the last 10 years.

This study defines the world's 2,500 largest public companies by their market capitalization as of January 1, 2013, according to Bloomberg. Each company that appeared to have changed its CEO was investigated for confirmation that a change occurred in 2013, and additional details were sought for both the outgoing and incoming CEOs.

About Strategy&

Strategy& is a global team of practical strategists committed to helping you seize essential advantage. We do that by working alongside you to solve your toughest problems and helping you capture your greatest opportunities. These are complex and high-stakes undertakings -- often game-changing transformations. We bring 100 years of strategy consulting experience and the unrivaled industry and functional capabilities of the PwC network to the task. Whether you're charting your corporate strategy, transforming a function or business unit, or building critical capabilities, we'll help you create the value you're looking for with speed, confidence, and impact. We are a member of the PwC network of firms in 157 countries with more than 184,000 people committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax, and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at

About PwC

PwC helps organizations and individuals create the value they're looking for. We're a network of firms in 157 countries with over 184,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services.

PwC has one of the world's largest treasury advisory groups, providing a broad range of complementary treasury, banking, technology, taxation, accounting and programme management skills. We have worked with many of the world's leading corporations to support change in treasury practices and have an enviable track record of successful solutions-based work. We have an extensive knowledge base of treasury standards of the leading corporations. By combining this knowledge with the multi-disciplinary skills of the team, we provide creative and practical solutions to meet the requirements of our clients.

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Contact Information:

Frank Lentini
Sommerfield Communications
+1 (212) 255-8386

Anna Moreno
+1 (212) 551-6110