Disagreement-induced CEO Turnover

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We develop and test a new explanation for forced CEO turnover. Investors may disagree with management on the optimal course of corporate actions due to heterogeneous prior beliefs. Such disagreement may be persistent and costly to firms, and thus create incentives for firms to replace CEOs who investors tend to disagree with. We use this logic to develop and provide evidence for three hypotheses. First, firms with higher investor-management disagreement are more likely to fire their CEOs, and this effect is more pronounced in more-financially-constrained firms as well as those with less-entrenched CEOs and stronger shareholder governance. Second, firms are more likely to hire an external CEO as a successor if investor-management disagreement with the departing CEO is higher. Third, investor-management disagreement declines following forced CEO turnover. Thus, the evidence sheds new light on how disagreement between management and investors shapes one important aspect of corporate governance — the replacement of CEOs.




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