Qian LiFollow

Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Jaynt Kale - Chair


This paper examines the impact of CEO turnover from an internal capital allocation perspective. We test whether new CEOs make different divisional investment decisions than their predecessors, and if yes, how would this difference affect firm performance. We find that segment investments respond to factors, such as segment investment opportunity, segment cash flow, and other segments’ cash flows, differently after CEO turnover. Evidence also indicates that new CEOs adjust the segments’ previous over-investment /under-investment status to match industry average investment level, and they adjust the relative investment preference among divisions. These findings support the argument that different CEOs have their own set of skills and incentives, which directly affect their internal capital allocation decisions after they take over the office. We also examine the affiliation relationship between certain divisions and new CEOs, and find that new CEOs do not make capital allocation in favor their affiliated divisions. Furthermore, the analyses on firm-level internal capital allocation sensitivity do not support the literature about positive relationship between firm performance and the “Q-sensitivity”. But, our analyses do find a positive and robust relationship between changes in firm performance and changes in the “cash flow-sensitivity”. This suggests that new CEOs making internal capital allocation in favor of their “cash cow” segments are more likely to improve firm performance after CEO turnover.