Award-Winning CEOs and Corporate Innovation

74 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2020 Last revised: 8 Nov 2023

See all articles by Mia Pham

Mia Pham

Massey University

Yulia Merkoulova

Monash Business School

Chris Veld

Monash University

Date Written: June 1, 2020


We examine the role of award-winning CEOs in corporate innovative activities. We find no significant difference in innovation outputs between firms of media award-winning CEOs and a matched sample of predicted winners. However, firms headed by winners of non-media awards generate significantly more patents and citations in the second and third year after the award. Firms led by CEO-winners of media awards attract more interest in Google and see an increase in the number of financial analysts that follow them. These effects likely exert more pressure on managers to meet short-term goals and hence impede the firms’ innovation. We do not find the same effects for firms that have CEOs who win non-media awards. The latter category sees an improvement in employee treatment following the award year. These different channels explain why innovation only increases for firms that are headed by CEOs who win non-media awards.

Keywords: Media award, Non-media award, innovation, CEO personal award, CEO attribute.

JEL Classification: G30, O31

Suggested Citation

Pham, Mia and Merkoulova, Yulia and Veld, Chris, Award-Winning CEOs and Corporate Innovation (June 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Mia Pham

Massey University ( email )

Private Bag 11 222
Palmerston North, Manawatu 4442
New Zealand

Yulia Merkoulova

Monash Business School ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3168

Chris Veld (Contact Author)

Monash University ( email )

Building 11E
Clayton, Victoria 3800

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