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Separation between CEO and Chairman of the Board is typically viewed as evidence of good corporate governance. Surprisingly, the literature has failed so far to uncover any significant relation between CEO/Chairman duality and firm performance. By distinguishing between periods with and without CEO turnover, we empirically identify two offsetting effects: the correlation between duality and performance is positive around CEO turnover and negative otherwise. This suggests that the competition for managerial talent forces firms to combine CEO and Chairman in order to attract more skilled CEOs at the cost of reducing governance standards.

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