Risk and Return of Chief Digital Officers' Appointment - An Event Study

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Drechsler, K., Wagner, H.-T., & Reibenspiess, V. (2019). Risk and Return of Chief Digital Officers' Appointment - An Event Study. Paper presented at the 40th International Conference on Information Systems, Munich, Germany. (VHB_3: A)

Publication type

Paper in Conference Proceedings


The challenges of the digital transformation have led many firms to create the position of the chief digital officer (CDO). Prior literature has shown that firms may benefit from CDOs, who champion digital innovation and promote digital initiatives. Yet, the conditions under which shareholders value CDOs’ appointment are unknown. Using an event study methodology we examine investors’ reactions to firms announcing CDOs’ appointment and consider interaction effects with organizational and individual characteristics. Our analysis shows that stock markets react positively to the announcement of CDOs’ appointment, especially when firms assign a specialist role, CDOs’ appointment does not lead to the parallel existence of CDO and chief information officer, and CDOs exhibit an educational background or professional experience in areas other than IT. By connecting with existing literature on IS-related senior management appointments, we demonstrate under which conditions CDOs play a strategic role for managing the digital transformation in organizations.


Organizational Units

  • Institute of Information Systems
  • Chair of Information Systems and Innovation

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