Tim Staples
Tim Quigley

How much does a CEO affect a company? NPR's Marketplace talked to Tim Quigley, an assistant professor of management at Terry, to find out the truth about how the boss can shape a company's success. 

While a CEO has an affect on performance, the trajectory the company is already on has a greater impact on its future success or failure,  said Quigley, who co-authored a study on the impact CEOs have on companies.

Quigley’s research shows CEOs account for up to a quarter of a company’s success or failure, while trajectory accounts for as much as a third.

“If we were to put my mom in charge of Wal-Mart tomorrow, Wal-Mart would probably still outperform Kmart for the foreseeable future," Quigley said. "The point is: The trajectory that the company is on matters."