Damage from media coverage of LendingClub Corp.'s ouster of its chief executive officer, after an internal review found abuses tied to the sale of a loan, may take years to fade.

The fallout from a lying, cheating, embezzling, or offensive CEO can linger to soil the reputation of a company for an average of five years after an incident has passed, according to a Stanford University analysis, being released this week, that studied 38 examples of bosses behaving badly from 2000 to 2015.

"You want to be aware of the consequences; this isn't the sort of thing you want to be blindsided by," said Dave Larcker, a Stanford professor who studies corporate governance and co-author of the report, titled "Scoundrels in the C-Suite." "Boards need to be aware of the impact."

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