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

David, Thomas and Di Giuli, Alberta and Petit-Romec, Arthur, CEO Reputation and Corporate Voting (March 9, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Thomas David

ESCP Business School ( email )

79 avenue de la République

Alberta Di Giuli (Contact Author)

ESCP ( email )

Paris Campus
79, Avenue de la Republique
Paris, 75011

Arthur Petit-Romec

Toulouse Business School ( email )

20, bd Lascrosses
Toulouse, 31068

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