Adoption of CEO Term Limit and Firm Performance

Author Name ISHIDA Souhei (Rikkyo University) / SUZUKI Katsushi (Hitotsubashi University) / NISHIMURA Yoichiro (Chuo University)
Creation Date/NO. April 2023 23-J-017
Research Project Frontiers in Corporate Governance Analysis
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This study examines the determinants of the adoption of a term limit system, in which the tenure of the CEO is predetermined, and the impact of adopting the system on firm performance. Our results show that firms with more R&D investment, lower financial institutional shareholdings, and a greater number of educated CEO candidates are more likely to adopt the term-limit system. The relationship between the tenure system and firm performance is an inverted U-shaped for the non-term-limit firms, but no such relationship is found for the term limit firms. We find that the market value of firms that adopt the term limit is higher than that of firms that do not adopt the term limit in the years following CEO turnover, and that CEO turnover takes place before performance would have deteriorated due to the prolonged CEO tenure that would have occurred otherwise in the firms that adopt the term limit. These results are consistent with the idea that the term limit system is adopted in those firms with large disadvantages due to obsolescence of CEO capabilities, rigid strategies, and deteriorating corporate governance caused by long CEO tenure, as well as in those firms with small CEO turnover costs.