a flat lay illustration of a document saying resignation
 · 9 min read · October 20, 2023

How to Write a CEO Resignation Press Release (Example and Template)

Mile Zivkovic
Marketing & Communications Specialist

Press releases can be used to announce a variety of events - from bad to good. Sometimes, key people in the company leave and that deserves its own press release - an official announcement of what happened and why.

One of the major examples can be a CEO resignation press release, and today we're going to help you learn how to create one. Also, we’ve included a handy template that you can use to save time.

P. S. You can use Prowly's press release creator not only for announcing resignations but for a wide variety of different events and use cases.

If you're in a rush, don't create press releases from scratch, use the templates instead.

Prowly Free Press Release Templates - two screenshots showing a part of the main panel with a button (on the left) that take you to the page with all templates (screenshot on the right)

What is a resignation press release?

A resignation press release is an official announcement that an employee in your company is leaving their role. It’s usually created to announce the departure of a CEO or another higher-level role in the company.

How do you write a resignation press release?

A press release for a resignation is not all that complex. In fact, every good resignation announcement sounds the same because there is a standard, expected format. You could use press release templates or write one from scratch.

In either case, here are step-by-step instructions on how to do it well. For more general instructions on how to write press releases, here is a great guide with insights from PR professionals.

#1 A catchy headline and lead sentence

The headline is the most important part of the resignation announcement because you need to capture your audience’s attention immediately. Here is a good example from the IMF:

It highlights who resigned, what their title was, and what the company is. It is then followed by a strong lead sentence giving more details, such as the effective date.

These two details capture the attention so that journalists immediately know what the story is about when you pitch them.

Prowly Press Release Creator screenshot showing the parts of the lead and title in a resignation press release

Pro tip: Add the big picture - write about the market, industry, or company situation - to give the journalist more context.

#2 Adding relevant quotes from stakeholders

The right quotes can make your resignation announcement more powerful. This can be a quote on why the person is resigning or a general statement about the company's direction.

Here, the former managing director resigns because of alleged wrongdoings. He shares some personal details, as well as some future plans.

Prowly Press Release Creator screenshot using the resignation press release template

Prowly makes it even easier to handle this part of the press release. You can integrate meaningful quotes into your press release with just a few clicks by adding quote blocks. And once you’re done, send it out to our media database with over one million contacts.

Pro tip: No matter who resigned, add meaningful quotes from the CEO, managers, and other high-profile positions. With Prowly you just need to drag and drop a "text" box directly into Prowly and you can make your press releases even more powerful and authentic!

#3 Adding visuals and assets

Visuals can make a resignation letter press release even more effective, especially if you're combining it with a new hire press release.

You can add the company name, a screenshot of your job opening, a photo of your team - the sky’s the limit.

Prowly Press Release Creator screenshot showing how to easily use blocks to add visuals to the resignation press release

Pro tip: You can use the Press Release Creator to embed social media posts directly into your press release. With one click, you can embed posts from channels such as LinkedIn or YouTube.

#4 Boilerplate and logo

The boilerplate is a standard press release element that is typically the same across all press releases. This includes your main company information, such as what you sell and who you sell it to, as well as your company logo.

Pro tip: If you want to take your boilerplate to the next level, use Prowly's press release editor to add spokespeople cards. Not only does this have the basic company info, but it also includes a headshot and the contact details of the relevant person in your company.

Why write a press release for resignation?

The reason is simple: you want to communicate shifts in high-profile positions to the public and control that information (before someone else leaks it to the press). This mostly includes cases such as a board member resignation announcement, and, most importantly, a CEO change.

Besides - The resignation press release informs the public who resigned and why and that you're looking for a replacement.

You might not think that this is something worth disclosing publicly, but think again.

  • For high-profile positions and companies with a reputation, the resignation press release is excellent for PR.
  • By telling the world that someone resigned (a CEO, board member, high executive), you're putting out a highly efficient job ad that is going to get attention.
  • However, in most cases, the resignation press release informs not only about the employee's departure but also about the new hire.

With this knowledge, you're on a good way to start writing your press release. Using great press release software goes a long way!

But maybe you're wondering:

How do you announce the leadership change to employees?

Besides writing a press release that is available publically, prepare a resignation announcement letter for internal use, to be distributed within the company.

It should include the departing executive's duties, accomplishments, and contributions to the organization. The letter can also provide a brief overview of who is taking over, when it will happen, and any transition details.

The resignation letter is an important part of your company's internal communications strategy. Highlight the positive aspects of the departing leader and introduce their successor respectfully and professionally to ensure a smooth transition.

Combine the resignation and new hire press release

Every ending is a new beginning. You can write just a resignation press release for a board member or an employee or you can wait a bit until you've found a replacement. You can then combine the resignation press release with a new hire press release to create one effective document.

In general, the change in CEO/board/C-level position is announced in a new hire press release, where you mention the person who is being replaced.

💡 Tip 1: Identify the key personas

Who are you talking to in the resignation announcement? Depending on the target audience, you'll approach the press release differently. You can choose to target:

  • news outlets
  • potential applicants (to find a suitable replacement)
  • competitors

Use the opportunity to divert attention from the employee leaving to the new hire and a potential suitable replacement who is going to step into their shoes.

💡 Tip 2: Highlight the positive aspects

If someone handed in a resignation letter, without a press release some readers may assume that this is bad news and that your company is not exactly a good employer. This is far from the truth, so make sure to highlight the good aspects of resignation in your public announcement.

Mention the employee's good work and if possible, highlight their achievements. Then point out the exciting possibilities for the new hire: to not just fill their shoes but go beyond. It's also good to highlight the company's development.

💡 Tip 3: Include quotes

A good resignation announcement has a few quotes from relevant people. For example, the CEO can talk about the company's direction, future plans and what they are looking for in a suitable replacement.

You can add a few quotes about why the company is a great place to work. Or perhaps what makes the position so uniquely rewarding and challenging to motivate candidates to apply.

Knowing all this, you're ready to start crafting your press release - or take a look at the example below for some extra inspiration.

Resignation press release example

Let's go from theory to practice. Here is an example of a great resignation announcement press release.

We're all familiar with X, formerly known as Twitter. This press release example serves as a great example for learning.

A Twitter ceo resignation press release from 2021

What we love about this press release

💬 Aleksandra Kubicka (PR Evangelist at Prowly) explains why she chose this press release example:

  • The press release tells the story of one CEO stepping down and announces future plans with the next CEO
  • They don't only talk about the new CEO. The old CEO is stepping down and they summarize what this person achieved and how they contributed to the company.
  • The structure is super clear with the main key points, company name, effective date and other relevant info
  • There is a lot of business background available and there is a story about the company's direction in the future
  • The quotes! Twitter used them perfectly, that's exactly how you want to communicate a departure in your piece.

Resignation press release template

Writing a press release for a resignation can seem like a chore. But it doesn't have to be - a fully adjustable template can make this process a breeze.

We've got you covered with our resignation press release template from the Prowly Press Release Creator Tool. Whenever someone in your company decides to move on, you can make the announcement effortlessly.

Use this template to let everyone know about the change, whether it's searching for a replacement or already having someone onboard.

Free Press Release Templates in Prowly for ceo resignation

In the Press Release Creator Tool, you can create a variety of press releases with different topics and formats. Just grab a template, fill in the blanks and you're ready in minutes.

Pro tip: Add a resignation press release to your online newsroom for more coverage after you finish creating your press release.

Conclusions

A resignation press release is not bad news.

It can be a chance to point towards new beginnings and potentially attract new hires. A CEO resignation announcement, for example, can be excellent news - if presented in the right way with a proper press release, and at the right time.

If you want to learn how to create an employee leaving announcement press release without all the fuss - try Prowly for free.

Whether it's your CEO resigning or someone else, you can create an impressive press release in a matter of minutes.

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