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Execs With Military Backgrounds Do Best
By - 6/16/2006

Los Angeles Business Journal Staff

Top executives who have served time in the military do a better job and stay longer in their positions than those who haven’t, a new study by recruiting firm Korn/Ferry International suggests.

The study, reported on by Bloomberg News, found that the 59 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 that were led by individuals who had served in the military outperformed the index average by 3 to 20 percent over one-, three-, five- and 10-year periods. Chief executive officers with military backgrounds served an average of 7.2 years at their firms, as opposed to 4.5 years for all S&P chief executives, the study found.

“These executives learned a number of things that have stood them well in their current roles,” said Joe Griesedieck, vice chairman and head of the CEO practice at Korn/Ferry. He said the study didn’t suggest that people without military backgrounds aren’t good CEOs, “but there is a clear trend here.” Griesedieck did not serve in the military.

Korn/Ferry said that ex-military individuals head 8.4 percent of the S&P 500’s companies.