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Executive Leadership Has Risks

In a study released today, consulting firm Booz Allen & Hamilton reports that job security for top executives is shaky at best.  The study showed that more than 15 percent of the world's 2,500 biggest companies lost their chief executives last year. Only half of the departures were voluntary. That is the highest executiveumpire.gif turnover in a decade.

"We think this level of turnover is here to stay," said Paul Kocourek, a Booz Allen senior vice president and an author of the study. "Boards are much more activist, and they are not going to tolerate poor performance. . . . If your [company is] performing at 2.5 percent below the Standard & Poor's 500 index, you are at risk."

Several high-profile executive departures from last year were related to scandal or poor performance. Harry C. Stonecipher, was forced out at Boeing Co. (BA) after a scandal; Hewlett-Packard Co.'s (HPQ) Carly Fiorina; Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS) Michael D. Eisner, and Morgan Stanley's (MS) Philip J. Purcell were forced out by board pressure.

Read more on this story at the Washington Post.

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