Does the face of the CEO determine the success of a company?

These findings suggest that naive judgments may provide more accurate assessments of individuals than well-informed judgments can. Our results are particularly striking given the uniformity in the CEOs’ appearances. All the CEOs were male, of approximately the same age, and ostensibly Caucasian. Even when we controlled for age, affect, and attractiveness, CEOs from more versus less successful companies could be distinguished via naive judgments based solely on perceptions of the CEOs’ facial appearance. Of course, we cannot draw any causal inferences as to whether more successful companies choose individuals with a particular appearance to be their CEOs or whether individuals with a particular appearance emerge as more successful in their work as CEOs. We can conclude, however, that naive inferences from facial appearance may provide information not only about subjective preference, but also about objective performance.

Source: “The Face of Success, Inferences From Chief Executive Officers’ Appearance Predict Company Profits” by Nicholas O. Rule and Nalini Ambad

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