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Keywords:

  • board of directors;
  • human capital;
  • social capital;
  • CEO selection;
  • stock market reaction

Abstract

This study extends work on independent directors to examine the influence of their human capital and social capital on investor reactions to the board's CEO selection decision. We predict that human capital, as represented by the board's CEO experience and industry experience, and social capital, as represented by directors' co-working experience on the board and external directorship ties to other corporate boards, will influence the stock market reactions to new CEO appointments. In a sample of 208 new CEO appointment events in U.S. manufacturing firms between 1999 and 2003, we found that the stock market reacted favorably to the appointments made by boards with higher levels of human and social capital. We also found that the effect of internal social capital was stronger when the new CEO was an insider rather than an outsider. The implications of the results for director selection and CEO succession are discussed. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.