The state of corporate governance in America ranks among the most urgent business issues of our day. The twenty-first century began with corporate scandals, in which malfeasance and lax oversight led to disaster for both companies and auditors; continued with the economic crisis of 2008; and endures as the presence of activist shareholders increases. A fundamental question of leadership and influence is at the core of these disruptions, specifically: Is the board sufficiently independent to provide impartial oversight of management?
The slowdown in the trend towards separating the chair and CEO roles suggests that US boards aren’t automatically falling in line with governance watchdogs’ advocacy.
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