Arizona CEO Turnover Is Part Of National Trend

Published: Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 5:09pm
Updated: Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 10:04pm

Four Arizona CEOs have left their positions in January, mirroring a national trend of executive officer turnovers.

Matt Semadeni, a professor at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, said not only is this number unusually high, but also it is a reflection of what the CEO role has become since scandals like Enron in 2001.

People in both CEO and CFO roles are now held accountable for a number of different outcomes. Because of this, there is more scrutiny. He said the role has become more complex, and it is easier to get burnt out in the position.

“If something untoward happens to the firm, they then have to take the fall, and the number of things that can happen to a firm, whether those are environmental or legislative, those have been increasing. It has caused this evolution of perspective for this chief executive officer role,” Semadeni said.

He also explained that while it comes with the job, it doesn’t always help the company.

“Many of them are brought in to effect change, and because of that it can be very disruptive to the organization. Now some organizations need to be disrupted, but there are often firms in pretty good shape that go through executive turnover that doesn’t fare so well.”

CEOs are taking on more responsibility for organizational outcome and there is still an active market for CEOs, he said. Many people in these roles may be moving on to greener pastures instead of stepping down. To fix this situation, many companies are adapting a co-CEO method to balance out the work load.

Semadeni said January is worse than most months when it comes to CEO turnovers because of companies opting for changes, but this is a trend that may continue. In Arizona, CEOs of Lifelock, Massage Envy, Wick Communication Co and Westmarc stepped down.

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