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CEO Compensation Practices around Spinoffs

Global Corporate Governance

ISBN: 978-1-78635-166-1, eISBN: 978-1-78635-165-4

ISSN: 1569-3732

Publication date: 30 March 2017


We examine the use of relative performance evaluation (RPE), asymmetry in pay for skill/luck, and compensation benchmarking for a sample of firms involved in a spinoff. The spinoff affects firm characteristics that influence the use of the identified compensation practices. We test for differences in the compensation practices for the pre- and post-spinoff firms. We find that RPE is used for post-spinoff CEOs, but not pre-spinoff CEOs. Post-spinoff CEOs are also paid asymmetrically for luck where they are rewarded for good luck but not punished for bad luck. Both pre- and post-spinoff CEOs receive similar levels of compensation benchmarking. The study provides additional evidence on factors that influence compensation practices. Our spinoff sample allows us to examine how compensation practices are affected by changes in firm characteristics while keeping other determinants of compensation constant (i.e., the board and, in many cases, the CEO). Our findings contribute to the understanding of how the identified compensation practices are used.



Howe, J.S. and O’Brien, S. (2017), "CEO Compensation Practices around Spinoffs", Global Corporate Governance (Advances in Financial Economics, Vol. 19), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 167-208.



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