Harvard Business Review published an article yesterday that suggests lawyers make better CEOs than MBAs. The study’s authors started with the premise that lawyers may focus more on the downside of decision ramifications while their MBA counterparts may focus more on the upside of increasing shareholder wealth.
The study examined roughly 3,500 CEOs of nearly 2,400 companies in the S&P 1500 between 1992 and 2012. Just under one tenth held law degrees. It concluded that lawyers were better CEOs for companies in high-growth industries as well as companies that face larger amounts of litigation. In other industries, the MBAs tended to make better CEOs.