Summary of Scoundrels in the C-Suite

How Should the Board Respond When a CEO's Bad Behavior Makes the News?

Stanford Business,

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Scoundrels in the C-Suite summary
What should the board of directors do when a CEO stands accused of injudicious, albeit legal activities?


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How should a board of directors handle a “misbehaving” CEO? This report by David F. Larcker and Brian Tayan of Stanford University reveals mixed conclusions as to the degree CEO misconduct harms organizations and shows how boards lack consistency in their responses to misconduct. These contradictions underscore the importance of the questions the authors raise about how boards should respond and work to prevent poor behavior from leadership figures. getAbstract recommends this report to board members and those interested in corporate governance issues.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What effect CEO misconduct may have upon an organization,
  • How boards of directors respond to CEO misbehavior, and
  • What questions about CEO ethics boards of directors should consider.


When news reports of CEO misconduct surface, the company’s board of directors must probe their truth and take steps to mitigate their negative effects. In instances where a CEO’s actions break the law, the actions the board must take are usually clear. But how the board of directors should respond and...
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About the Authors

David Larcker is director and a senior faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business Corporate Governance Research Initiative, where Brian Tayan is a researcher.

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