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HARP Seminar, presented by Dr Wasim Ahmad: "Beyond the CEO: Unveiling the Impact of Generalist CFOs on Innovation"

Dr Wasim Ahmad
Event information
Date 5 December 2023
Time 11:00-12:00 (Timezone: Europe/London)
Price Free
Venue Henley Business School LG01
Event types:
Webinars Seminars


Prior research shows that CEO characteristics significantly affect the innovative performance of organisations. CFOs are arguably the most important corporate executives other than CEOs, yet little is known about the impact of CFOs on innovation. We examine whether the CFOs’ general managerial skills are associated with innovation. Using a large sample of Chinese listed firms between 2008 and 2020, we find a significant negative impact of generalist CFOs on corporate innovation, measured by patents, citations and R&D efficiency. However, a firm’s creative culture weakens the negative relationship between CFOs’ general ability and innovation. Our findings reveal a significant CFO effect on innovation, providing strong implications for boards when selecting CFOs.

Dr Wasim Ahmad

Short Bio on Presenter: Dr Wasim Ahmad is a Senior Lecturer in Finance at the Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University. His research interests include corporate finance, private equity, corporate governance, CEO and CFO attributes, innovation, and earnings management. His research has been published in international academic journals including the Journal of Corporate Finance, British Journal of Management, European Financial Management, etc. and cited in leading outlets such as Financial Times, PE News and Institutional Investors. Wasim is an associate editor of the Journal of Sustainable Finance and Investment.

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