CEO Health

Matti Keloharju*, Samuli Knüpfer, Joacim Tåg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Using comprehensive data on 28 cohorts in Sweden, we analyze CEO health and its determinants and outcomes. We find CEOs are in much better health than the population and on par with other high-skill professionals. These results apply in particular to mental health and to CEOs of larger companies. We explore three mechanisms that can account for CEOs’ robust health. First, we find health predicts appointment to a CEO position. Second, the CEO position has no discernible impact on the health of its holder. Third, poor health is associated with greater CEO turnover. Here, both contemporaneous health and health at the time of appointment matter. Poor CEO health also predicts poor firm outcomes. We find a statistically significant association between mental health and corporate performance for smaller-firm CEOs, for whom a one standard deviation deterioration in mental health translates into a performance reduction of 6% relative to the mean.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101672
Peer-reviewed scientific journalThe Leadership Quarterly
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)101672
Publication statusPublished - 16.01.2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • CEOs
  • physical health
  • mental health
  • appointments
  • turnover
  • performance

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Financial management, accounting, and governance


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