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The Importance of Board Quality in the Event of a CEO Death

Author

Listed:
  • Kenneth A. Borokhovich
  • Kelly R. Brunarski
  • Maura S. Donahue
  • Yvette S. Harman

Abstract

We examine board quality and executive replacement decisions around deaths of senior executives. Stock price reactions to executive deaths are positively related to board independence. Controlling for such factors as the deceased's stockholdings, outside blockholdings, board size, and whether the deceased was a founder, board independence is the most significant factor explaining abnormal returns. Board independence is particularly important when there is no apparent successor and firm performance is poor. The results are consistent with independent boards being reluctant to discipline poorly performing incumbent managers, but nevertheless using the opportunity of an executive death to improve the quality of management. Copyright 2006, The Eastern Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth A. Borokhovich & Kelly R. Brunarski & Maura S. Donahue & Yvette S. Harman, 2006. "The Importance of Board Quality in the Event of a CEO Death," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 307-337, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:finrev:v:41:y:2006:i:3:p:307-337
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    Cited by:

    1. Rongbing Huang & James G. Tompkins, 2010. "Corporate governance and investor reactions to seasoned equity offerings," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(7), pages 603-628, June.
    2. Nguyen, Bang Dang & Nielsen, Kasper Meisner, 2010. "The value of independent directors: Evidence from sudden deaths," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 550-567, December.
    3. Ansari, Iram Fatima & Goergen, Marc & Mira, Svetlana, 2014. "The determinants of the CEO successor choice in family firms," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 6-25.
    4. Betzer, André & Ibel, Maximilian & Lee, Hye Seung & Limbach, Peter & Salas, Jesus M., 2016. "Are generalists beneficial to corporate shareholders? Evidence from sudden deaths," CFR Working Papers 16-12, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    5. David Hillier & Patrick McColgan, 2009. "Firm Performance and Managerial Succession in Family Managed Firms," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3-4), pages 461-484.
    6. Rokiah Ishak Author_Email:, 2011. "Corporate Performance, Ceo Power And Ceo Turnover: Evidence From Malaysian Public Listed Companies," 2nd International Conference on Business and Economic Research (2nd ICBER 2011) Proceeding 2011-480, Conference Master Resources.
    7. Zahid Iqbal & Kun Wang & Sewon O, 2011. "Board independence and market reactions around news of stock option backdating," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 35(1), pages 104-115, January.
    8. Perryman, Alexa A. & Butler, Frank C. & Martin, John A. & Ferris, Gerald R., 2010. "When the CEO is ill: Keeping quiet or going public?," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 21-29, January.
    9. André Betzer & Maximilian Ibel & Hye Seung (Grace) Lee & Peter Limbach & Jesus M. Salas, 2017. "Are Generalists Beneficial to Corporate Shareholders? Evidence from Sudden Deaths," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP16009, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.

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