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CFO Shuffle Surges

July 17, 2007
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Related Topics: Retention, Strategic Planning, Latest News
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Turnover of chief financial officers spiked 20 percent in the second quarter compared with the first quarter, with a total of 646 executives shuffling in, out or around large U.S. companies, up from 536 in the first quarter.

Churn levels were consistently high: The total number of CFOs who joined, left, resigned, retired or changed positions internally exceeded 200 for the past three consecutive months—a first since Liberum Research began tracking the data in 2005.

“Keep in mind that the second quarter includes both proxy season and quarterly earnings,” says Liberum senior vice president Richard Jacovitz, who explained that the second quarter is typically the period with the highest level of churn each year.

“There are exceptions—when the economy tanks or something major takes place,” Jacovitz says. But barring those events, he said he expects the overall level of management change to drop over the next few months.

The total level of CFO churn was down 1.5 percent from the same period last year, when the second quarter saw an all-time high of 656 shuffles. June turnover, at 202, remained high, but a slowdown appears to have begun: The quarter began with a near-high 233 CFO management changes in April and slowed to 211 in May.

In fact, the number of CFO job changes in June dropped in every category with the exception of new hires, which increased 19 percent, to 82, from 69 in May.

Filed by Tara Kalwarsk of Financial Week, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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