How Do CEOs Create Value for Their Firms?

36 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2010 Last revised: 8 Mar 2011

Varouj A. Aivazian

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Tat‐kei Lai

Mohammad M. Rahaman

Saint Mary's University - Sobey School of Business

Date Written: March 7, 2011

Abstract

Do CEOs really matter for firm performance? And if they do, how does CEO human capital translate into firm value? We investigate these questions using a sample of firms with CEO turnover. We find that when a CEO with more general managerial human capital is matched with a firm relying more on such skills, the firm reduces leverage and invests less in intangibles, relative to firms relying on CEOs with more firm-specific skills. These changes in firm financing and investment policies lower business risk and reduce the costs associated with financial distress, which, in turn, manifest into higher firm value. Our results suggest that CEOs do matter for firm performance, and illustrate possible channels through which CEO human capital can translate into higher firm value.

Keywords: CEO Turnover, CEO Human Capital, Firm Policy, Firm Performance

JEL Classification: G30, J40

Suggested Citation

Aivazian, Varouj A. and Lai, Tat‐kei and Rahaman, Mohammad M., How Do CEOs Create Value for Their Firms? (March 7, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1656614 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1656614

Varouj A. Aivazian

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Department of Economics
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6
Canada
416-978-2375 (Phone)
416-978-5433 (Fax)

Mohammad M. Rahaman (Contact Author)

Saint Mary's University - Sobey School of Business ( email )

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3C3
Canada

No contact information is available for Tat-kei Lai

Paper statistics

Downloads
246
Rank
101,614
Abstract Views
1,370