Does the CMO’s personality matter for web traffic? Evidence from technology-based new ventures

  • Hans-Jörg Winkler
  • Verena Rieger
  • Andreas EngelenEmail author
Original Empirical Research


This study investigates whether the personalities of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) of technology-based new ventures affect how the increasing maturity of new ventures translates into web traffic. Drawing on upper echelon theory and the interactionist theory of job performance, we explain how certain personality traits from the five-factor model are relevant to the job demands a CMO faces in technology-based new ventures. We build a multi-source dataset on 627 new ventures and use a novel approach to measuring personality that is based on computer text analysis—specifically, the LIWC application—which we apply to the CMOs’ Twitter accounts. Our findings indicate that a CMO’s extraversion positively moderates the relationship between a new venture’s maturity and web traffic, while a CMO’s conscientiousness is a negative moderator of this relationship. These results have useful theoretical and practical implications for the role of the CMO and for marketing new ventures in general.


Chief marketing officer Technology-based new ventures Personality Firm maturity 



The authors are thankful for the insightful comments provided by the editor, John Hulland, the associate editor, and by three anonymous reviewers. The authors gratefully acknowledge the helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper provided by Martin Klarmann.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Jörg Winkler
    • 1
  • Verena Rieger
    • 1
  • Andreas Engelen
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Business and EconomicsTU Dortmund University44227 DortmundGermany
  2. 2.Department for ManagementHeinrich-Heine-University DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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