Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Accountancy



First Advisor

Victoria Dickinson

Second Advisor

John P. Bentley

Third Advisor

Brett Cantrell

Relational Format



This dissertation examines the relationship between experienced chief executive officers (CEOs), venture capital support, and company performance. Much of the success of venture backed companies is attributed to the reputation, monitoring, and networking of venture capitalists (Hochberg, Ljungqvist, and Lu 2007; Katz 2009). One crucial task of venture capitalists, or any stakeholder, is to find talented executives to lead their companies. However, finding quality CEOs for young growth companies with a relatively short financial history can be a difficult endeavor. Venture capitalists may have a comparative advantage in this area because they network within the venture capital industry to “recycle” CEOs (De Carvalho, Calomiris, and de Matos 2008). In other words, venture capitalists network to hire CEOs who already have CEO experience at a different venture backed company. This provides venture capitalists with a unique opportunity to hire serial CEOs with venture capital industry specific experience. Therefore, this study considers the following research questions: RQ1: Are recycled CEOs of higher ability than other CEOs? RQ2: Do recycled CEOs have a positive relationship to future firm performance? To address this question, I use a hand collected sample of serial CEOs (CEOs with prior CEO experience), and recycled CEOs (serial CEOs of venture backed companies) to examine their relationship with managerial ability and future firm performance. Although there is literature to support the positive association between CEOs and firm performance (Demerjian et al. 2012; Demerjian, Lev, Lewis, and McVay 2013), little analysis of recycled CEOs is available. Using various univariate and multivariable tests, I find evidence that recycled CEOs have a positive association to future managerial ability and provide incremental explanatory power over venture backing with respect to future management quality and firm profitability. These findings provide evidence that venture capital success may be due in part to the ability of the CEOs set in place to lead the company and not just to venture capitalist oversight

Included in

Accounting Commons



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