CEO Reputation and Corporate Voting
46 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2020 Last revised: 26 Mar 2021
Date Written: March 9, 2020
This paper examines the influence of CEO reputation on corporate proxy voting. Relying on prestigious business awards (through which the CEO is elevated to superstar status) as salient shocks to CEO reputation, we find that shareholders in aggregate, and mutual funds in particular, are more likely to vote with management (i.e., against shareholder proposals) when the CEO is a superstar. We use a battery of matching procedures to mitigate the concern that these results are driven by selection. We further show that shareholder proposals, especially contested ones and those with positive ISS recommendations, are significantly more likely to fail when the CEO is a superstar. Our results suggest that investors are sensitive to the external appraisal conveyed by the superstar status and prefer not to oppose management.
Keywords: Superstar CEO, Business Awards, CEO reputation, Corporate Governance, Shareholder Proposals, Mutual Funds, Mutual Fund Voting
JEL Classification: G32, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation