Fair-Weather Farewells

A market rebound in early 2011 is leading to a rash of CEO shake-ups this year

Hard times don't always make heads roll, at least not for CEOs. Turnover for top executives hit a 15-year low in 2010 as firms sought to avoid disruption after the turmoil of the downturn. But this year, on the heels of a long market climb, CEOs are feeling more pressure. "In rough economic times, companies are more patient with their senior executives," says Matt McGreal of search firm Crist Kolder Associates. But when market conditions grow more promising while a company's performance stays flat, boards are more likely to swing the ax. (See the fate of Yahoo!'s Carol Bartz.) The trend...

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