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Rediff.com  » Business » Top executives remain immune to job-losses

Top executives remain immune to job-losses

May 07, 2009 18:38 IST

Top-level executives have managed to remain immune to any job-losses, even as companies worldwide have issued thousands of pink slips over the past 10 months to workers mid-to-lower ranks, a report says.

Unlike most workers, the top executives have managed to keep their positions during these difficult economic times, according to an independent research firm Liberum Research, studying changes in top-management levels in listed companies.

"While there are always high-profile executive changes and turnover in the top ranks of public companies, the majority of executives have continued to remain immune from job-losses that so many others workers have faced or have been threatened with," Liberum Research said in a report.

This trend has continued now for well over 10 months," it added.

However, Liberum predicts that the top executive ranks would not remain immune much longer from the ongoing employment turmoil.

Liberum anticipates executive turnover would begin to rise as we move into the late spring and summer months.

The report stated that executive turnover numbers for April 2009 have remained slow compared with the same month last year.

Liberum Research revealed that CEO turnover has declined 32 per cent and CFO turnover declined 39 per cent compared to same month last year.

Further, C-level executives (defined by Liberum as board of director all the way down to vice president level) turnover declined 30 per cent and though board of director changes declined only 6 per cent compared with the total registered for April 2008.

Interestingly, the study said, the continuing financial crisis is beginning to show an impact on board rooms and directors, who have for too long followed the lead of top management. They are now gradually beginning to take greater role in corporate planning and in making top personnel changes.

"If this trend continues, we can expect some 'real' executive changes at the top of a number of public firms that in the past might not have made changes in its executive ranks," the report added.

A number of high profile and 'significant' executive changes that occurred have had a direct impact on the companies involved, even as there has been a continued dramatic decline in executive turnover for the last 10 months.

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