The Wall Street Journal reports that many in the corporate governance community now see lead independent directors as an “effective counterweight” to the power of CEOs. The Journal cites Spencer Stuart data in noting that “the number of lead directors at S&P 500 companies rose to 247 in 2011 from 165 in 2006.” Over that same time span, the number of presiding directors fell from 298 to 209. Lead directors not only run boards’ “executive sessions” — meetings of outside directors without management — a number of them also hold veto power over board agendas and handle the CEO’s performance review. Some are even called upon to temporarily take over the corner office when chief executives unexpectedly exit.
Lead directors gain clout as CEO counterweight
The number of lead directors at S&P 500 companies rose to 247 in 2011 from 165 in 2006.
March 29, 2012