Top 10 Resignations of 2014: 10 Years of Leading Turnover Research

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Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy 10th birthday to…the ”Biggest Quits” List; it is a different kind of a celebration. Check out the list of the most significant resignations in US business, sports, entertainment, and politics from the world’s employee retention experts.

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“There’s no mountain left for me to climb. It’s become clear to me that I’ve won television. At this point, I’m just running up the score.” -Stephen Colbert

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy 10th birthday to…the ”Biggest Quits” List. It is a different kind of a celebration. Check out the list of the most significant resignations in US business, sports, entertainment, and politics from the world’s employee retention experts.

Retensa, Employee Retention Strategies and Research leaders, publishes its annual list of the ten most noteworthy resignations across all US industries. 2014 was a very active year. Organizations in technology, automotive, entertainment, and higher education felt the impact of losing key leaders.

Iconic names provide instant recognition. Lebron, Rockefeller, Colbert. Guess what? They all left their employer in 2014. Lebron returned home to Cleveland. The last Rockefeller walked off Capitol Hill. Stephen Colbert turned off the TV show he named after himself. Most people make three wishes on their birthday. But the “Biggest Quits,” being like no other list, instead gives us 2 trends for 2014 and 1 consideration for 2015.

Trend 1: Illogical decisions to quit -- 7 of the Top 10 are retiring or resigning with no plans to go elsewhere. We saw people at the top of their game leave it all behind. Lebron left sunny South Beach (his home for championships and sandy beaches the last 4 years) for Cleveland, a city that has not won a major professional sports contest in 40 years. Larry Ellison is Oracle, and Oracle is Larry Ellison. Not anymore. Co-founder of America’s largest bond company resigned with little comment. When Bill Gross left PIMCO, $60.5 billion of assets drifted away.

Trend 2: It’s not “All about the Benjamins” -- Sorry Ice Cube, clearly money is not a key factor of leadership resignations. The reasons seen this year reinforce that employee retention and turnover drivers are deeper than cash. Find out who left (allegedly) because of where the office is located. The government lost its top law enforcement official. You cannot pay one enough to take this job [or “no one takes this job just for the money”], with the constant scrutiny [or use the phrase “under the microscope”] that comes with it.

Resignations in 2015: Follow the oil -- The price of oil drops lower and lower to historic levels. Inevitably, the stock market will respond, the reverberations will be felt across the energy industry and related firms, which now comprise 8 (5 directly, 3 indirectly) of Fortune’s 10 largest US companies. People will be on the move, as the energy industry’s changes serve as both a challenge and opportunity.

About the “Biggest Quits” List:
The most significant U.S.-based resignations qualify for inclusion on Retensa’s annual “Biggest Quits” list. To make the Top 10, Retensa applies three criteria: (1) the magnitude of impact on the individual’s industry or field, (2) the financial loss or loss of influence of the enduring organization, and (3) the degree that the enduring organization is unprepared to respond. Join the conversation by tweeting @Retensa with #BigQuit. For this year’s Top 10, as well as previous lists and contenders who almost made it, visit Retensa’s Biggest Quits (http://www.biggestquits.com).

About Retensa:    
Retensa addresses the social and economic impact of employee turnover for public, private, and non-profit organizations in 44 countries and 12 languages. They combine experience and web-based technology to attract, motivate, and retain a company’s top talent. To create the “Retention Environment,” Retensa provides expertise in HR Metrics, Employee Surveys, Exit Interviews, Executive Coaching, Mentoring, and Talent Management Solutions.

To learn more about Retensa, please contact:
Henry Tu
212.545.1280
het (at) retensa (dot) com

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