CEO Turnover Database

I maintain a database of forced CEO turnovers together with my co-author Alex Wagner (University of Zurich). The database contains the dates of forced CEO turnovers (and therefore excludes all voluntary turnover or firm-years in which no turnover occurred) of all firms recorded in the Execucomp database between 1993 and 2019. The file comes from the data used in Peters and Wagner (Journal of Finance, vol. 69, no. 4, pp. 1529-1563, 2014) and Jenter and Kanaan (Journal of Finance, Vol. 70, no. 5, pp. 2155-2184, 2015) and it has been extended to 2019 by Peters and Wagner since publication. The construction of the dataset has also benefited from turnover data generously provided to us by Greg Nini, Luke Taylor, Cami Kuhnen, Andrea Eisfeldt, and Ofer Eldar. In particular, discrepancies in classification between these datasets and ours have been resolved. The criteria for classifying a CEO turnover as forced are described in detail in Peters and Wagner (Journal of Finance, vol. 69, no. 4, pp. 1529-1563, 2014).

An important feature of the dataset is that, since 2001, it records forced turnovers also for the cases where a company is dropped from Execucomp from year t to year t+1. This means that all firm-year observations in Execucomp which are not coded as forced in our dataset are cases where either no turnover occurred or where the turnover was voluntary. There are very few exceptions to this rule: Since Execucomp somtimes backfills or modifies some observations of earlier years, our dataset may miss a few turnovers or assign a turnover to a different fiscal year than a current vintage of Execucomp.

The data can be easily merged with the full Execucomp CEO database (i.e. applying condition CEOANN=”CEO”) by joining on the gvkey and year variables. All successfully merged observations within the 1993-2019 period are forced turnovers, all other observations are either voluntary turnovers or cases where no turnover occurred.

We are updating the dataset periodically to include more recent years and to account for observations in earlier years that, over time, are added or modified by Execucomp.

Please cite this data as follows (Peters and Wagner for the 2001-2019 period, Jenter and Kanaan for the 1993-2000 period):

  • “The Executive Turnover Risk Premium” by Florian Peters and Alexander Wagner, Journal of Finance, vol. 69, no. 4, pp. 1529-1563, 2014
  • “CEO Turnover and Relative Performance Evaluation” by Dirk Jenter and Fadi Kanaan, Journal of Finance, Vol. 70 (5), pp. 2155-2184, 2015.