Beverly B. Media and Communications

Why it makes sense to pay beautiful CEOs more


The face of a CEO is like a company's first impression. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

The face of a CEO is like a company’s first impression. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

By Derek Thompson, The Atlantic January 13, 2014

“Love of beauty is taste,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson, a co-founder of this magazine. His perspective would fit snugly in a modern corporate boardroom. A raft of new research suggests not only that good-looking CEOs are paid more handsomely, but also that they’re actually better for their companies in surprising ways.

Attractive CEOs have “a positive and significant impact on stock returns” when they first appear on television, according to a working paper by Joseph T. Halford and Hung-Chia Hsu at the University of Wisconsin. “Our findings suggest that more attractive CEOs have higher compensation because they create more value for shareholders through better negotiating prowess and visibility,” they said. When better-looking execs appear on TV, their stock gets an exaggerated bump. Comely CEOs also snag better terms in mergers with other companies.
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