Type of Submission

Refereed Article


Drawing on upper echelons theory, we explore demographic and other attributes of CEOs in the hospitality industry and their impact on firm performance. Our results, based on a sample of 1,427 CEO firm-years of publicly traded companies over a period of 24 years, show that a typical CEO in the hospitality industry is male, in his mid-50s, with no graduate degree and no prior CEO experience, but has worked in operations and has an average tenure of approximately 9 years. Our analyses show that while there is some relationship between CEO attributes and firm performance, the sign and significance of this relationship depends on the specific firm performance measure used. Our study contributes to the literature in corporate governance and hospitality by systematically examining the effect of CEO demographics and other attributes on firm performance in the hospitality industry. We draw implications for CEO search committees of hospitality firms and outline avenues for future research.