Health-care CEO turnover highest among business sectors

For anyone who lost a job and is worrying about how they might pay the March mortgage, you have company.

The turnover of chief executive officers in January was the highest its been since May 2010 and health-care chiefs led the way out the door.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., which calls itself the "original outplacement company," said in its monthly report that 123 CEOs left their jobs in January, the most since 125 departed in May 2010. In January of 2011, 96 CEOs left their jobs, one way or another.

Twenty five health-care CEOs departed the top spot this year, up from nine in January of last year.

Challenger said that health-care organizations topped all sectors in turnover in 2011, with 187 CEOs bidding adieu, an average of 15.6 per month.

A couple prominent global pharmaceutical companies, with big local operations, more or less started the last two years with new leaders.

Within a week late in November and early December of 2010, Merck and Pfizer said they would change chiefs.

On. Nov. 30, 2010, Merck named Philly-native Kenneth C. Frazier to succeed Richard T. Clark.

On. Dec. 5, 2010, Pfizer said Ian Read would replace Jeffrey Kindler.

On Jan. 1, 2012, Teva said Shlomo Yanai would step down to be replaced by Jeremy Levin.