The looming CEO shortage: 20% of CEOs admit to being unhappy in their job and looking to leave

  • CEOs top the list of unhappy senior leaders, with 20% unhappy and keen to move on.
  • 26% of all Senior Decision Makers (SDMs) are unhappy in their role, half of whom are actively looking to leave.
  • Small to mid-sized businesses (10-49 and 50-99 employees) could have a troublesome year ahead as 33% of their SDMs are unhappy, and one in six are looking to leave.  
  • At all businesses, 72% of SDMs are happy; that is made up of 45% with no intention of leaving, and 27% who would consider leaving despite their current satisfaction with their role.
  • A staggering 40% of Managing Directors have said despite being happy in their job they would still consider moving. 

David Collington, Principal at Barnett Waddingham, comments: “There has been a clear shift in employee expectations within the workplace since the pandemic, with a sizeable proportion of SDMs looking to leave their jobs whether happy or not.

“It is critical that the reasons behind these results are investigated before businesses experience drastic turnover and uncertainty at the helm.

“The world of work looks different in 2022, and many companies are struggling to keep up. Transformation needs more than a cost-of-living pay rise or hybrid working; employers must look closely at their holistic offering, including holiday, working abroad, mental and physical health support, and other alternative benefits. Pay is no longer a direct route to retention; standing out as an excellent employer is both a daunting task and absolutely business critical.”

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