This Vell research report, Characteristics of Successful CEOs, investigates whether common perceptions regarding the predictors of CEO success are valid. The research uses data about public technology products companies in New England with over $100M in revenues – and their CEOs.
Our research examines the correlation (or lack of) between a company’s performance and the CEO’s education, experience, tenure, age, reliance on an independent Chair, and whether the CEO came in as an internal promotion vs. external hire.
Not unexpectedly, technology companies differ from other companies in many significant ways. Although we work extensively with technology CEOs, some of the findings were surprising to us. For example, the predominance of founders among companies with revenues between $100 M – $1 B was unexpected.
Each topic has three sections. The “Patterns Detected” section summarizes the underlying distribution of our data set, such as the percent of CEOs who were founders by company size. The “So Where Were the Differences” section reports the correlation between corporate performance and the relevant characteristics, such as founders vs. non-founders. The “Key Take-Aways” section highlights the most striking conclusions.