601. Lucian A. Bebchuk, Martijn Cremers, and Urs Peyer, CEO Centrality, 11/2007.
Abstract: We investigate the relationship between CEO centrality – the relative importance of the CEO within the top executive team in terms of ability, contribution, or power – and the value and behavior of public firms. Our proxy for CEO centrality is the fraction of the top-five compensation captured by the CEO. We find that CEO centrality is negatively associated with firm value (as measured by industry-adjusted Tobin's Q). Greater CEO centrality is also correlated with (i) lower (industry-adjusted) accounting profitability, (ii) lower stock returns accompanying acquisitions announced by the firm and higher likelihood of a negative stock return accompanying such announcements, (iii) greater tendency to reward the CEO for luck in the form of positive industry-wide shocks, (iv) lower likelihood of CEO turnover controlling for performance, and (v) lower firm-specific variability of stock returns over time. Overall, our results indicate that differences in CEO centrality are an aspect of firm management and governance that deserves the attention of researchers.