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The Effects of Succession Choice Surrounding CEO Turnover Announcements: Evidence from Marathon Successions


  • Vincent J. Intintoli

    1. Vincent J. Intintoli is an Assistant Professor in the College of Business at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Carbondale, IL.
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  • This paper is based on my dissertation at The University of Arizona. I would like to thank my committee members: Kathy Kahle (chair), Ed Dyl, Tom Bates, Sandy Klasa, Ronald Oaxaca, and Alfonso Flores-Lagunes for their guidance and support. I would also like to thank Bill Christie (Editor), Robert Parrino, Jean Helwege, Andrew Zhang, Anne Anderson, Jane Zhao, an anonymous referee, seminar participants at The University of Arizona, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, San Jose State University, the 2006 FMA Doctoral Student Seminar, and the 2007 FMA Meetings for helpful suggestions and useful comments. I am grateful for the financial support provided by The University of Arizona Department of Finance. Earlier versions of this paper were entitled “The Importance of Strong Internal Governance When Extending the Succession Process: Evidence from Marathon Successions.”


This study examines marathon successions, which I define as top executive searches that are extended past the formal departure notice of the incumbent chief executive officer (CEO). Marathons should be used when search costs are high and when little time passes from when the incumbent steps down to when they leave the firm. Consistent with these predictions, marathons primarily follow surprise departures and forced turnovers. Marathons are also likely for firms operating in heterogeneous industries that face early tenure incumbent departures. These findings shed light on an increasingly prevalent form of succession and provide insight into the rationale and implications behind the announcement.

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