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Former CEOs chairing the board: does it matter to corporate social and environmental investments?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Vu TrinhORCiD, Dr Aly SalamaORCiD, Dr Teng Li, Professor Savvas PapagiannidisORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Former CEOs who stay on the board as Chairmen (i.e., Chair-Former-CEO or CFCEO) often play a vital role in monitoring and advising the incumbent CEOs. However, their influence on firm performance remains under-investigated. This paper aims to offer new insights into the impact that such a role can have by examining corporate investment in social and environmental responsibility. It examines the effect of CFCEOs on the firm’s social and environmental responsibility of 1,263 S&P1500 firms from 2002 to 2021. We find that firms with the presence of a CFCEO exhibit superior social and environmental performance. This finding suggests that CFCEOs can encourage long-term value creation for a broader range of stakeholders by building social capital and public trust. Additional analyses reveal that the positive association between the CFCEO and firms’ social and environmental performance was more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic than during the global financial crisis of 2007-9.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Trinh VQ, Salama A, Li T, Lyu O, Papagiannidis S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting

Year: 2023

Volume: 61

Pages: 1277–1313

Print publication date: 01/11/2023

Online publication date: 14/07/2023

Acceptance date: 03/07/2023

Date deposited: 14/07/2023

ISSN (print): 0924-865X

ISSN (electronic): 1573-7179

Publisher: Springer New York LLC


DOI: 10.1007/s11156-023-01184-x


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