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First-quarter CEO departures rise to crisis-era highs

Given the widely held expectation that the U.S. economy will accelerate this year, it’s disconcerting to see that more U.S. chief executive officers are leaving their jobs than at any time since the financial crisis. Makes you wonder if they, or their employers, know something the rest of us don’t.

U.S. employment consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. reported Wednesday that, according to their survey of U.S. companies’ announcements, SEC filings and news, 66 CEOs left their jobs in the first three months of 2014, the highest quarterly number since the third quarter of 2008. That, you might recall, was the eve of a massive global financial crisis and deep recession – a time when, understandably, executive job security was fraying badly.