New Delhi, October 16, 2018: As retailers scramble to respond to the new demands of fickle consumers and to disruptors like Amazon, the industry is taking a page from those shoppers who show little loyalty and changing CEOs at a faster pace than ever.

According to reports published in the retail industry saw its rate of announced CEO changes among S&P 500 companies rise to nearly 23% last year, from 16%, according to the Conference Board’s annual study CEO Succession Practices, developed in partnership with the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. That was the highest rate the sector has seen since the Conference Board began the study in 2001 and more than double the industry’s historical average rate of 10.5%.

The retail CEO turnover rate last year also topped that of other industries from finance to transportation and doubled the S&P 500 index average of 10.8%, according to the 116-page report.

“The wholesale and retail industry is among the most vulnerable to today’s changes and disruptions, including ongoing pressure to develop an omnichannel presence to compete with online shopping,” the report said. It reflects “the aptly named ‘retailpocalypse’ that has been affecting department stores and other trade businesses besieged by the Amazon behemoth.”

Those in the industry that have announced CEO changes last year include Macy’s, Ralph Lauren and Tiffany according to

Barbie parent Mattel is another example. The company, faced with declining sales, changing children’s play patterns and the negative impact of Toys “R” Us’ bankruptcy, has reshuffled its CEO deck again. This year it replaced former Google executive Margo Georgiadis, who had been on the job for only a little over a year, with former Fox executive Ynon Kreiz.


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