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Conflict-induced forced CEO turnover and firm performance

Kuntara Pukthuanthong, Saif Ullah, Thomas J. Walker and Jing Zhang

Managerial Finance, 2018, vol. 44, issue 9, 1134-1154

Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine operational and stock performance changes around forced CEO turnovers caused by conflicts between corporate boards and CEOs over the strategic direction of the firm. In addition, the authors investigate whether changes in performance can be explained by board, CEO, or firm characteristics. Design/methodology/approach - The authors apply propensity score matching to choose matching firms that do not forced CEO turnover but have similar characteristics with the sample firms. The authors compare their operating and stock performances. The authors apply both univariate analysis and multivariate regression analyses. Findings - The authors find that the CEO turnovers caused by conflicts between corporate boards and CEOs over the strategic direction of the firms tend to be preceded by significant declines in a firm’s operating and stock performance and that corporate performance improves after turnovers. In addition, the authors find that an increase in long-term incentives and firm size and a decrease in turnover improve firm performance. Originality/value - While the existing corporate governance literature emphasizes oversight as the main role of the board of directors and identifies the CEO as the leader who sets the strategic direction of the firm, in cases of conflict-induced forced CEO turnover, it is the board that sets the strategic direction. This paper is the first to provide evidence regarding the implications of conflict-induced forced CEO turnovers.

Keywords: Firm performance; Forced CEO turnovers; Strategic direction; Strategy formation; G12; G14; G30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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