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C Suite Market Update - January 2015

January 2015

Although overall job growth continues to inch up in a steady manner on both sides of the border, executive level activities continue to swing back and forth – still, with an overall net gain. It will be interesting to see how things play out during the balance of the winter and into the spring. Compared to January 2014, Canada saw full time employment rise by 108,000 jobs in January 2015. Increased activity was seen mostly in professional, scientific and technical roles and women outdistanced men in landing new roles – however, not at the C level. The USA saw employment rise by over 250,000 with increases occurring primarily in retail, healthcare, construction, finance and manufacturing. Energy sector cutbacks had an impact, on both sides of the border, in employment numbers not being stronger.

Comparing January 2015 to January 2014, C Suite turnover last month increased in 3 out of 4 categories – CFO’s +14%, Board of Director’s +14% and overall C level changes coming in at +2%. CEO changes declined 4% over January last year.

January 2015 versus December 2014 activity told a somewhat different story with declines and increases being 50/50 across categories. CEO and Board of Director changes declined 15% and 10% respectively whereas CFO activity increased by 21% and overall C Suite changes increased by 2%.
 
January 2015 C Suite turnover activities break down as follows:

  • CEO changes, -4%. A total of 192 changes with the largest number of changes occurring in drugs/biotech, energy and manufacturing– in descending order. Last month's changes occurred primarily in energy, drugs/biotech, banking, consumer products, metals/mining
  • CFO changes, +14%. A total of 224 changes with the largest number of changes occurring in drugs/biotech, banking and software. Last month's changes occurred primarily in drugs/biotech, metals/mining and computer related industries.
  • Board of Directors, +14%. A total of 466 changes with the largest number of changes occurring in drugs/biotech, energy and banking. Last month saw changes in the same categories - drugs/biotech, energy and banking. This marks the third month where the same industry sectors realized the most significant changes.
  • Overall C suite, +2%. A total of 1479 changes with the largest number of changes occurring in drugs/biotech, banking and business services. Last month's changes occurred primarily in drugs/biotech, energy and banking.

While overall trending continues to be positive in North America, continued economic challenges in Europe and softening in Asia need to be closely monitored. As well, with rumoured/realized job cuts at giants like IBM, Bombardier, Suncor, Royal Dutch Shell and a few of the Banks, and the exit of Target from Canada, it will be interesting to see how things play out during the balance of the winter and into the spring.