Specialist CEOs versus Generalist CEOs: CEO Type and Firm Performance Following Initial Public Offerings on the Chinese Market
- CEO compensation, CEO power, CEO turnover, Chinese IPO survival, Generalist CEO, Specialist CEO.
How to Cite
This study focuses on the effect of Chief Executive Officer (CEO)-level characteristics on a firm’s survival following initial public offerings (IPOs). Specifically, it looks at the impact of generalist CEOs between July 2009 and July 2021 on the likelihood of firm failure and IPO survival. This study uses principal component analysis to create a generalist skills index based on CEO work experience, including the number of roles that the CEO has held, the number of firms in which the CEO has worked, the number of industries in which the CEO has worked, whether the CEO has taken a CEO position in other firms, whether the CEO has worked in a conglomerate, and whether the CEO holds a professional title. The results of the Cox proportional hazards model reveal that companies with a generalist CEO have a higher probability of failing than companies with a specialist CEO, which suggests that generalist CEOs pursue higher salaries and higher reputations through switching between different industries and firms. Performance-related compensation and CEO turnover in companies with generalist CEOs explain the higher probability of firm failure. The main results still hold after controlling for CEO power, board and firm characteristics, and testing using the logit model. This research on the connection between generalist CEOs and a firm’s failure risk also offers insight into a company's CEO hiring choice and job market activities.