The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and CEO tenure, turnover, and risk aversion
Using a sample of CEO turnover from 1999 to 2005, we find that CEOs become significantly more risk averse following the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, SOX. Their increased risk aversion may serve as an explanation for why CEO tenure is not significantly shortened and forced CEO turnover is not more likely post-SOX, as we document in this paper. In addition, we provide evidence that financial restatements have some effects on CEO tenure and the probability of forced CEO turnover. This may be due to intensified monitoring activities by the board and the financial press in the post-SOX era, but we cannot contribute all of it to SOX. In some occasions, SOX seems to weaken the effect of board monitoring on CEO tenure and the effect of firm performance on CEO risk aversion. Though the increased monitoring level post-SOX contribute to the increased CEO risk aversion, little impact is found from the SOX-mandated accuracy and transparency of financial reporting.
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