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Abstract

All public corporations must make a choice regarding board leadership structure. Advocates of more effective corporate governance argue for independent board leadership; yet many firms choose instead to allow the CEO to serve as board chairperson (CEO duality). This study examines the differential financial implications of these choices for 141 corporations over a 6-year time period. Results indicate significant differences in performance between the two groups along a number of performance measures; more specifically, firms opting for independent leadership consistently outperformed those relying upon CEO duality.