Defects in the spindle assembly checkpoint are thought to be responsible for an increased rate of aneuploidization during tumorigenesis. Despite a plethora of information on the correlation between BUB-MAD gene expression levels and defects in the spindle checkpoint, very little is known about alteration of another important spindle checkpoint protein, Cdc20, in human cancer and its role in tumor aneuploidy. We observed overexpression of CDC20 in several oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell lines and primary head and neck tumors and provide evidence that such overexpression of CDC20 is associated with premature anaphase promotion, resulting in mitotic abnormalities in OSCC cell lines. We also reconstituted the chromosomal instability phenotype in a chromosomally stable OSCC cell line by overexpressing CDC20. Thus, abnormalities in the cellular level of Cdc20 may deregulate the timing of anaphase promoting complex (APC/C) in promoting premature anaphase, which often results in aneuploidy in the tumor cells.