The private life of CEOs: a strategic leadership perspective

Sebastiaan van Doorn, Mariano L.M. Heyden, Marko Reimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Major events in the private lives of CEOs have been a source of fascination for decades. However, despite gaining traction, studies on the relevant phenomena (e.g., marriage, divorce, parenthood, illness) remain scattered in parallel across disciplines. We thematically review the interdisciplinary evidence on the fast‐emerging literature on CEO private life events (72 unique studies) to consolidate our understanding of how private life events can become reflected in the professional domains of CEO influence. Through this approach, we comprehensively intersect empirical progress on CEO life events with key strategic leadership outcomes (i.e., performance, strategy, socio‐ethical issues, innovation, governance), allowing us to identify key gaps and highlight inconsistencies. We then propose several research opportunities and challenges to move the field from phenomenon‐driven standalone studies to a more coherent research program on the blurred boundaries between the private and professional lives of CEOs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101679
JournalThe Leadership Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


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