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One Man Two Hats: What's All the Commotion!


  • We appreciate assistance in compiling the data from Companies House U.K., Lloyds Share Registration Services, Hemmington Scott, and the Subotnick Financial Services Center. This paper has benefited from the helpful comments of Linda Allen, David Denis, Diane Denis, Jack Francis, Joanne Li, Colin Mayer, John McConnell, and seminar participants at Baruch College, Queen's University, Belfast, and FMA European Meetings 2005. Jay Dahya acknowledges financial support from the Baruch College Fund, INQUIRE-UK, and the Eugene M. Lang Junior Faculty Fellowship.

* Corresponding author: Baruch College, City University of New York, One Bernard Baruch Way, Box B10-225, New York, NY 10010-5585; Phone: (646) 312-3511; Fax: (646) 312-3451; E-mail:


We examine performance in publicly listed U.K. companies over a period that encompasses the issuance of the Cadbury Committee's Code of Best Practice, which calls for the abolition of the combined CEO/COB position. We find that companies splitting the combined CEO/COB position to conform to the Code's requirement did not exhibit any absolute or relative improvement in performance when compared to various peer-group benchmarks. We do not necessarily scoff at mandated board structures, but the evidence suggests that this particular legislature coerced the abandonment of the combined CEO/COB position and appears to be wide of the mark.