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Equilar CEO Tracker: Q1 2020 Update

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May 20, 2020

Key Findings:

  1. 19 announced CEO departures in Q1 2020 versus 80 in all of 2019

  2. 37.5% of appointed CEOs in 2020 so far are external hires versus 33% in all of 2019

Equilar 500 companies have announced 19 CEO departures through the first quarter of 2020. This compares to a total of 80 announced CEO departures in all of 2019. Nine of the 19 CEOs departed by the end of the first quarter with at least six others expected to leave later this year.

The average CEO lifetime pay for all 19 departing CEOs is $142.4 million with a median of $74.1 million. Robert A. Iger (The Walt Disney Company), with tenure of 14.4 years, earned the highest total CEO lifetime pay at $678.5 million. Pierre Laubies (Coty Inc.), with tenure of 1.4 years, had the lowest CEO pay at $1.1 million, excluding interim CEOs.

Through the first quarter of 2020, two female CEOs announced their departures: Virginia M. Rometty (IBM), and Marillyn A. Hewson (Lockheed Martin). Two women have been appointed CEO so far in the year: Sonia Syngal (The Gap, Inc.) and Carol B. Tomé (UPS). Overall, women appointed as CEOs in the Equilar 500 increased from 6% in 2018 to 12% in 2019. In 2020, 12.5% of CEOs appointed so far are women.

Overall, external appointments increased from 22% in 2018 to 33% in 2019. For all announced appointments in Q1 2020, we have seen this trend continue, with 37.5% 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 March 31, 2020
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 $15 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.

As more and more shareholders demand that corporations prioritize social governance issues such as gender equality in the boardroom, the pressure on nominating/governance committees is expected to spread across all public corporations. Such as the rise in audit retainers following the Sarbanes-Oxley act, the passing mandate of SB-826 in California and similar bills being passed in other states could lead to further increases in member retainers and chair fees for nominating/governance committees.

Owen Gilles, 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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