Research pertaining to CEO performance recognizes that a CEO’s true quality and character are most conspicuous during tough times. Ever since the economic crisis of 2008 the economy has been sluggish at best. The condition of the economy at that time provides an optimal opportunity to conduct a performance evaluation of CEOs. They sit at the helm of corporations that dictate the productivity and prosperity of our country. Their performance has an indirect effect on the socioeconomic standing of everyone else in the economy. Therefore, it is important to identify the dynamics that enable the holder of such a powerful position to be successful. Using regression analysis of data collected via a quantitative analysis of CEOs’ letters to shareholders, this thesis examines determinants of CEO success.
During the current financial crisis there is a large amount of scrutiny surrounding executive compensation packages. The purpose of this thesis is finding an understanding of executive compensation based around the makeup of the board of directors. We examine firms from the S&P 100 investigating the relationship between CEO compensation and the makeup of the board of directors. For this end, we examine different pieces of CEO compensation packages: salary, options awards and stock awards, in relation to salary and as standalone pieces. We use OLS regressions to see if the make-up of the board demonstrates a significant relationship with CEO compensation. The purpose of this examination is to determine what effect, if any, the makeup of the board of directors has on deciding executive compensation.
Although they can be difficult to implement, employee-friendly workplaces, with generous compensation, schedule flexibility, and perks, foster more satisfied and productive employees than traditional work environments. Transforming a work environment from conventional to more liberal, and likely more satisfying, takes a certain type of leader. This study seeks to understand in what ways the “100 Best Companies to Work For” CEOs differ from traditionally successful, Fortune 500 CEOs. Using political affiliation as a proxy for openness to change, we test our hypothesis that Best Company CEOs are more open to change, and therefore, more left-leaning than Fortune 500 CEOs. We use campaign contributions of CEOs from the top 100 Fortune 500 companies and the “100 Best Companies to Work For” to discern whether executive receptiveness to change differs between these two groups. Our OLS probit model provides strong evidence that companies in Republican industries (i.e. aerospace, defense, petroleum, etc.) and companies with right-leaning CEOs are unlikely to be Best Companies. We also find that being identified as a Best Company in the short-term is best achieved through inexpensive perks, while being identified as a Best Company in the long-term requires strong compensation, sabbatical options, and vacation time.