CEO Selection and Executive Appearance

53 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2014 Last revised: 19 Dec 2019

See all articles by Douglas O. Cook

Douglas O. Cook

University of Alabama - Culverhouse College of Commerce & Business Administration

Shawn Mobbs

University of Alabama - Culverhouse College of Business Administration

Date Written: December 18, 2019

Abstract

We use a scientifically-based measure of executive facial attractiveness that is correlated with survey assessments, but not as noisy, and find a positive link between attractiveness and CEO selection. We find evidence that better interpersonal relationships is one mechanism through which CEO attractiveness is valuable. Attractive CEOs inform directors more effectively and are more quickly appointed as board chair. We also find that more attractive executives receive higher compensation relative to their peers and that attractiveness is more valuable when executives are otherwise more similarly skilled. Finally, more attractive executives are associated with higher abnormal stock returns around their CEO selection announcement. Overall, facial attractiveness is an important executive trait with significant labor market implications.

Keywords: labor market, CEO selection, attractive, tournaments, facial traits

JEL Classification: G30, G32, G34, G35

Suggested Citation

Cook, Douglas O. and Mobbs, Shawn, CEO Selection and Executive Appearance (December 18, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2379577 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2379577

Douglas O. Cook

University of Alabama - Culverhouse College of Commerce & Business Administration ( email )

Culverhouse College of Business
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0223
United States
205-348-8971 (Phone)
205-348-0590 (Fax)

Shawn Mobbs (Contact Author)

University of Alabama - Culverhouse College of Business Administration ( email )

101 Paul W. Bryant Dr.
Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

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