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Journal Articles Review of Finance Year : 2012

Bottom-Up Corporate Governance


This article empirically relates the internal organization of a firm with decision making quality and corporate performance. We call "independent from the CEO" a top executive who joined the firm before the current CEO was appointed. In a very robust way, firms with a smaller fraction of independent executives exhibit (1) a lower level of profitability and (2) lower shareholder returns following large acquisitions. These results are unaffected when we control for traditional governance measures such as board independence or other well-studied shareholder friendly provisions. One interpretation is that "independently minded" top ranking executives act as a counter-power imposing strong discipline on their CEO, even though they are formally under his authority.



Dates and versions

hal-01026127 , version 1 (19-07-2014)



Augustin Landier, Julien Sauvagnat, David Sraer, David Thesmar. Bottom-Up Corporate Governance. Review of Finance, 2012, 17 (1), pp.161-201. ⟨10.1093/rof/rfs020⟩. ⟨hal-01026127⟩
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