A survey has found Australia has the highest turnover rate of chief executives in the world.
The research, conducted by the consulting firm Booz and Company, shows nearly one-in-four Australian CEOs left their jobs last year, compared to the global average of 14.2 per cent.
Booz and Company partner Varya Davidson says the jump in turnover was primarily because of mergers and acquisitions.
However, she also says the research suggests Australia is quite a tough place for chief executives to work.
"Anecdotal evidence and the interviews we had with local CEOs do suggest that the personalisation of the CEO role and the media scrutiny, particularly of personal life, does make it a particularly tough role in the Australian context and, from some of our local CEOs perspective, tougher than elsewhere in the world," she said.
New research shows that, since the global financial crisis, Australian firms are also favouring external candidates over internal applicants for chief executive roles.
Ms Davidson says Australian firms are bucking the global trend in looking further afield to fill their top jobs.
"Prior to the global financial crisis there was a heavy reliance on insider CEOs but, post the GFC, there's now been a strong turn towards appointing outsiders," she observed.
"Currently, 51 per cent of CEO incumbents in 2011 were outsiders, as opposed to globally, only 22 per cent of appointments were outsiders."