Should CEOs Double As Board Chairs? Increasingly S&P 500 Companies Are Saying No

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Publish Date:
October 31, 2019
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CNN Business
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Summary

AT&T said this week that it would split the role of board chair and chief executive when its current chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson steps down.

The move will put AT&T, which owns CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia, among a majority of large, publicly traded US companies that are now opting to keep those two roles separate.

“There are no doubt situations where it makes sense to separate the two positions — maybe complex turnarounds or dealing with governance problems. However, this does not mean every company should separate the roles. There is context to this decision,” said Rock Center director David Larcker.

For instance, “there are a lot of efficiencies to having a capable, honest and knowledgeable person serve as leader of both management and the board,” said Larcker’s Rock Center colleague Brian Tayan, a Stanford Law School researcher.

“Is that really better?” said Larcker.

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