Room D: PHD4
Presentations of 20 minutes at: 3:30pm; 3:50pm; 4:10pm
CEO Turnover and Director Reputation
University of St.Gallen (HSG), Switzerland
This paper analyzes the reputational effects of forced CEO turnovers on outside directors. We find that outside directors interlocked to a forced CEO turnover experience a large and persistent increase in withheld votes at subsequent board re-elections relative to non-turnover-interlocked directors. Increases in withheld votes are confined to departures without a successor in place, performance-induced turnovers, and turnovers that occur during the most productive time within a CEO's tenure. Reputational losses are larger for board committee members responsible for hiring and monitoring the ousted CEO and for directors affiliated with the CEO. Involvement in a forced CEO turnover is not associated with a long-term loss in directorships, but lost directorships are replaced by directorships at smaller firms. Our results imply that forced CEO turnovers signal a governance failure at the board level and that investors rely on salient actions to update their beliefs about directors' hidden qualities.