Performance-Induced CEO Turnover
64 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2010 Last revised: 14 Jul 2019
Date Written: June 14, 2019
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. Compared to 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.
Keywords: CEO Turnover, Board of Directors, Governance
JEL Classification: G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation