CEO Departures Up 14% in 2014

On Monday, Target (NYSE:TGT) announced it is replacing chief Gregg Steinhafel, following widespread credit card breaches that have negatively impacted the company.

It turns out he isn't the only CEO packing is bags; there have been 460 CEO changes in 2014, according to a study by outplacement consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, up 14% from the 403 CEOs ousted in the first four months of last year.

This year has seen 105 healthcare chiefs leave their posts, while 62 CEOs have left government or non-profit positions and 56 “computer industry” CEOs have departed.

Brendan Eich found himself surrounded in controversy when he was pressured to resign as chief of Mozilla, the maker of Internet browser Firefox. Eich faced significant criticism from the Silicon Valley community for campaign donations in opposition of gay marriage.

“A decade ago, the socio-political beliefs of a CEO like Mozilla’s Eich likely would have gone unnoticed, much less become the target of consumer boycotts.  However, in an age when conversations and actions can be recorded and indelibly posted on the Internet, companies have little choice but to respond,” said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

One-hundred-thirty-two CEOs have resigned, making it the top reason for leaving the position this year, while 118 have retired and 92 moved into another position, such as chairman.

California has seen the most CEO departures, with 62 leaving their post this year. Texas saw 41 CEO exits and Florida saw 24.