Investor stock market response has received a great deal of attention in the marketing literature. However, firms are not faceless corporations; individuals such as CEOs set their strategies. Upper echelon and strategic leadership theories hold that chosen strategies derive from these individuals’ opinions, which are a function of their personalities, demographics, experiences, and values. Building on recent literature, the authors propose how CEO characteristics can influence innovation and stock returns. Investors are motivated by cash flow expectations—in particular, the prospect of increasing and accelerating future cash flows, reducing associated risks, and increasing residual value. This systematic review focuses on four main characteristics—personality, demographics, experience and compensation—to arrive at a set of propositions on innovation and stock returns. After reviewing the extensive literature on CEO characteristics, the authors outline the emerging findings on CMO characteristics; propose future research directions on CEO and CMO characteristics, innovations, and stock returns; and offer implications for practice.
- Stock returns