There has been an increased interest in the last two decades in top management teams (TMTs) of business firms. Much of the research, however, has been US-based and concerned primarily with TMT effects on organizational outcomes. The present study aims to expand this literature by examining the antecedents of top team composition in the context of macro-level economic change in a late-industrializing country. The post-1980 trade and market reforms in Turkey provided the empirical setting. Drawing upon the literatures on TMT and chief executive characteristics together with punctuated equilibrium models of change and institutional theory, the article develops the argument that which firm-level factors affect which attributes of TMT formations varies across the early and late stages of economic liberalization. Results of the empirical investigation of 71 of the largest industrial firms in Turkey broadly supported the hypotheses derived from this premise. In the early stages of economic liberalization the average age and average organizational tenure of TMTs were related to the export orientation of firms, whereas in later stages, firm performance became a major predictor of these team attributes. Educational background characteristics of teams appeared to be under stronger institutional pressures, altering in different ways in the face of macro-level change.