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Do CEOs really stay in the job for too long?

IbyIMD+ Published 23 December 2021 in Magazine • 9 min read • Audio availableAudio available

Research shows that the value that CEOs create for shareholders starts to decline after 14 years in the job, but letting them go early may not always the best decision. 

How long should CEOs remain in office? And do some of them stay on for too long? This is an ongoing debate among academics and practitioners, often triggered by headlines about long-serving CEOs who perform badly and destroy company value. A recent example is Société Générale’s Frédéric Oudéa, who is currently the longest-serving CEO of a major European bank despite having overseen a 75% drop in the company’s share price during his 13-year reign, giving it the lowest price-to-book ratio of any European bank.

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