Reaching for the stars: the appointment of celebrities to corporate boards

Stephen P. Ferris, Kenneth A. Kim, Takeshi Nishikawa and Emre Unlu
International Review of Economics Vol. 58, Issue 4, Pages: 337-358

For a sample of over 700 celebrity appointments to corporate boards of directors over the period 1985–2006, we find positive excess market returns at the time of their announcement. The 1-, 2-, and 3-year long-run performance of the appointing firms provide corroborating evidence of the value of these appointments. We conclude that the appointment of celebrities as directors increase a firm’s visibility in a fashion consistent with Merton’s (J Finance 42:483–510, 1987) investor recognition hypothesis.