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Performance-induced CEO turnover

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  • Jenter, Dirk
  • Lewellen, Katharina A.

Abstract

This paper revisits the relationship between firm performance and CEO turnover. We drop the distinction between forced and voluntary turnovers and introduce the concept of performance-induced turnover, defined as turnover that would not have occurred had performance been "good". We document a close link between performance and CEO turnover and estimate that between 38% and 55% of all turnovers are performance induced, with an even higher percentage early in tenure. This is significantly more than the number of forced turnovers identified in prior studies. We contrast the empirical properties of performance-induced turnovers with the predictions of Bayesian learning models of CEO turnover. Learning by boards about CEO ability appears to be slow, and boards act as if CEO ability (or match quality) was subject to frequent and sizeable shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Jenter, Dirk & Lewellen, Katharina A., 2017. "Performance-induced CEO turnover," CEPR Discussion Papers 12274, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12274
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    Cited by:

    1. Xunan Feng & Anders C. Johansson, 2017. "CEO Incentives in Chinese State-Controlled Firms," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(2), pages 223-264.
    2. Edward P. Lazear & Kathryn L. Shaw & Christopher T. Stanton, 2012. "The Value of Bosses," Discussion Papers 12-001, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    3. Carola Frydman & Dirk Jenter, 2010. "CEO Compensation," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 75-102, December.
    4. Siegert, Caspar & Trepper, Piers, 2015. "Optimal tolerance for failure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 41-55.
    5. Steven N. Kaplan, 2012. "Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance in the U.S.: Perceptions, Facts and Challenges," NBER Working Papers 18395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Beneish, Messod D. & Marshall, Cassandra D. & Yang, Jun, 2017. "Explaining CEO retention in misreporting firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 512-535.
    7. Jagannathan, Murali & Pritchard, A.C., 2017. "Do Delaware CEOs get fired?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 85-101.
    8. Anderson, Ronald W. & Bustamante, Maria Cecilia & Guibaud, Stéphane & Zervos, Mihail, 2017. "Agency, firm growth, and managerial turnover," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68784, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Blanco, Iván & Wehrheim, David, 2017. "The bright side of financial derivatives: Options trading and firm innovation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1), pages 99-119.
    10. Cziraki, Peter & Xu, Moqi, 2014. "CEO job security and risk-taking," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55909, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    12. IZUMI Atsuko & KWON Hyeog Ug, 2015. "Change in Corporate Performance after Forcing Out CEOs: Comparison between the United States and Japan (Japanese)," Discussion Papers (Japanese) 15032, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
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    17. Gormley, Todd A. & Matsa, David A., 2016. "Playing it safe? Managerial preferences, risk, and agency conflicts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(3), pages 431-455.
    18. Annamaria Menichini & Francesca Toscano, 2016. "Rating Change and CEO Turnover," CSEF Working Papers 459, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    CEO turnover; CEO-firm matching; corporate governance; turnover-performance relationship;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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