CEO Turnover and Risk Taking under Long-Term Employment Contracts
81 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2013 Last revised: 24 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 23, 2017
We study the role of the contractual time horizon of CEOs for CEO turnover and risk taking. Using hand-collected data on 3,954 fixed-term CEO contracts, we show that remaining time under contract predicts CEO turnover. When contracts are close to expiration, turnover is more likely and is more sensitive to performance. We also show a positive within-CEO relation between remaining time under contract and risk. Our results are similar across short and long contracts and are driven neither by firm or CEO survival, nor technological cycles. They are consistent with risk-taking incentives provided by a long-term contract horizon.
Keywords: Risk taking, volatility, career concerns, CEO contracts, CEO turnover
JEL Classification: G34, J41, J63
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation