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Equilar CEO Tracker: Q4 2019 Update

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February 3, 2020

Key Findings:

  1. 78 CEOs announced their departures in 2019 versus 80 in 2018

  2. 12% of appointed CEOs in 2019 were female versus 6% in 2018

  3. 32% of appointed CEOs in 2019 were external hires versus 24% in all of 2018

Equilar 500 companies announced 78 CEO departures in 2019. This compares to a total of 80 CEO departures in all of 2018. 70 of the 78 CEOs departed within the year while the remaining eight are expected to leave in 2020.

The average CEO lifetime pay for all 78 departing CEOs is $90.2 million, with a median of $58.7 million. John Hammergren (McKesson), with tenure of 19 years, earned the highest total CEO lifetime pay at $800.1 million. Shane Kim (GameStop), who served for one year, had the lowest CEO pay at $1.2 million. However Larry Page (Alphabet), who did not participate in any equity program and whose salary was $1, received $8 for all eight years he served as CEO of Alphabet.

As featured in a recent CNBC segment, eight women were appointed CEO in 2019: Revathi Advaithi (Flex), Nazzic Keene (Science Applications International), Heyward Donigan (Rite Aid), Lori Ryerkerk (Celanese), Melisa Miller (Alliance Data Systems), Cheryl Miller (AutoNation), Kristin Peck (Zoetis) and Jennifer Johnson (Franklin Resources). While four female CEOs announced their departures: Geisha Williams (PG&E), Heather Bresch (Mylan N.V.), Beth Mooney (KeyCorp) and Melisa Miller (Alliance Data Systems). Overall, women appointed as CEOs in the Equilar 500 increased from 4% in 2016 to 6% in 2018. However, 2019 saw the highest percentage of women appointed CEOs at 12%.

Overall, external appointments increased from 15% of all CEOs appointed in 2016 to 22% in 2018. For all announced appointments in 2019, this trend has continued with 32% of newly appointed CEOs coming from external sources.


Company Name Ticker Name Effective Date Gender CEO Tenure1 CEO Lifetime Pay2

1Calulated as the earlier of the effective date or September 30, 2019
2Compensation data collected since 2006
3Interim Chief Executive Officer


Company Name Ticker Successor Successor Gender Internal Successor Previous Role

3Interim Chief Executive Officer

About Equilar

Equilar is the leading provider of board intelligence solutions. Its data-driven platforms, BoardEdge and Insight, provide tools for board recruiting, business development, executive compensation and shareholder engagement. Companies of all sizes, including 70% of the Fortune 500 and institutional investors representing over trillion in assets, rely on Equilar for their most important boardroom decisions. Equilar also hosts industry-leading board education symposiums, conducts comprehensive custom research services and publishes award-winning thought leadership.

Tosin Babatunde, Research Analyst at Equilar, co-authored this post.

Brielle Ferdinand, Research Analyst at Equilar, co-authored this post.

Please Contact Amit Batish, Content Manager, at for more information on Equilar research and data analysis.

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