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Is it better to say goodbye? When former executives set executive pay


  • Andres, Christian
  • Fernau, Erik
  • Theissen, Erik


In the German two-tiered system of corporate governance, it is common practice for chief executive officers (CEOs) to become the chairman of the supervisory board of the same company upon retirement. As members of the supervisory board, they are involved in setting the pay for their successors as well as for their former colleagues. We analyze a panel covering 150 listed firms and the period 1998-2007. We show that firms in which a former CEO serves as the chairman of the board of directors pay their executives significantly more. We find no difference in the compensation for the members of the supervisory board. Thus, former CEOs apparently exert their influence to increase the pay of their former colleagues and their successor, but not their own pay.

Suggested Citation

  • Andres, Christian & Fernau, Erik & Theissen, Erik, 2012. "Is it better to say goodbye? When former executives set executive pay," CFR Working Papers 12-02, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfrwps:1202

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100.
    2. Giebe, Thomas & Gürtler, Oliver, 2012. "Optimal contracts for lenient supervisors," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 403-420.
    3. Julian Franks & Colin Mayer & Paolo Volpin & Hannes F. Wagner, 2012. "The Life Cycle of Family Ownership: International Evidence," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(6), pages 1675-1712.
    4. Boyle, Glenn & Roberts, Helen, 2010. "Wolves in the Hen-House? The Consequences of Formal CEO Involvement in the Executive Pay-Setting Process," Working Paper Series 4063, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
    5. Carola Frydman & Dirk Jenter, 2010. "CEO Compensation," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 75-102, December.
    6. Glenn Boyle & Helen Roberts, 2010. "Wolves in the Hen-House? The Consequences of Formal CEO Involvement in the Executive Pay-Setting Process," Working Papers in Economics 10/45, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    7. Aleksandra Gregoric & Saso Polanec & Sergeja Slapnicar, 2008. "Pay me Right: Reference Values and Executive Compensation," LICOS Discussion Papers 22008, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    8. Linn, Scott C. & Park, Daniel, 2005. "Outside director compensation policy and the investment opportunity set," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 680-715, September.
    9. Ingolf Dittmann & Ernst Maug & Christoph Schneider, 2010. "Bankers on the Boards of German Firms: What They Do, What They Are Worth, and Why They Are (Still) There," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 14(1), pages 35-71.
    10. Christopher F Baum, 2000. "XTTEST3: Stata module to compute Modified Wald statistic for groupwise heteroskedasticity," Statistical Software Components S414801, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 05 Jul 2001.
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    More about this item


    executive compensation; board structure; two-tiered board;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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